After years of black-tie fundraisers, the Community Harvest Food Bank decided to try something different in 2018.
The organization hosted “Boots and Bling,” a cowboy-themed event.
This year, it’s “Under the Big Top” with circus accents, carnival games, auctions, raffles, and the sort of performers who are usually introduced by a ringmaster. It happens March 21 at Ceruti’s Banquet and Event Center.
“Our goal is to raise $100,000 for hunger relief,” said Katie Savoie, a marketing specialist for the food bank. “Mayor Henry and his wife will be there so we’re pretty excited to see them.”
Admission includes two drink tickets, “heavy appetizers,” and a door prize ticket earning a chance to win a dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House with NBC33 news anchor Linda Jackson.
The food bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger in the region with donated food and other resources.
The Community Harvest Food Bank distributes more than 13 million pounds of food in a fiscal year, Savoie said.
“We distribute to all nine counties in northeast Indiana and we partner with about 400 nonprofit pantries and different agencies that get food from our warehouse,” she said.
Roughly 85,000 people a year are fed by the food bank, Savoie said.
The money raised during the most recent of these annual fundraising events has been earmarked for fresh produce, she said.
“Our agencies are really focused on trying to provide healthy foods to the families that we serve,” she said. “Just like every other food bank, we have junk food. It’s some of the most donated items. But we’re really proud to say that one-third of our whole distribution is fresh produce.”
A couple of hundred different items will be auctioned or raffled at “Under the Big Top,” Savoie said.
Vacations in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and in Sarasota, Fla., will be auctioned. The winner of a vacation raffle will get to choose from among three destinations: Cancun, Mexico, Lake Tahoe, Nev., and New Orleans.
Attendees are encouraged to come in circus-themed attire, Savoie said.
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