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Goodfellows present $11,000 each to four area food banks


by Sylene Argent

Last Wednesday, members of the Essex Region Goodfellows presented proceeds, from the 2020 campaign, to the four local food banks it supports.

  Typically, the Essex Region Goodfellows hosts an annual newspaper campaign in November, with the help and support of local firefighters, to provide the Essex Area Food Bank, the Essex Salvation Army, and the St. Vincent de Paul Food Banks in Harrow and McGregor financial support before heading into the holiday season. The funds help purchase items for Christmas dinner packages for the area food banks’ clients.

  Instead of hosting the newspaper campaign this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s social distancing requirements, the Essex Region Goodfellows hosted a 50/50 draw.

  Thanks to the generosity and support of the community, $10,000 was raised through the 50/50 raffle initiative. In addition, Board of Director member, Wendy Pulleyblank-Cunningham, said individuals from the community stepped up and forwarded generous donations to support the cause.

  As a result, the Essex Area Food Bank, the Essex Salvation Army, and the St. Vincent de Paul Food Banks in Harrow and McGregor were each presented $11,000 last week.

  On December 26, members of the Essex Region Goodfellows drew the winning ticket for the 50\50 draw, which belonged to Essex Mayor Larry Snively. As a result, Snively won $10,000, but donated $2000 back to the Gooodfellows, which was placed in its reserves.

  Shortly after the pandemic hit, back in April, the Essex Region Goodfellows presented each of the four food banks it supports with an additional $1000. The additional donation was made, knowing there would be an increased demand on the local food banks as the pandemic began to shut down businesses, in addition to some having to undergo layoffs.

  Pulleyblank-Cunningham explained one of the reasons she believes community members were so generous with their contributions to the 2020 Essex Region Goodfellows campaign was because they knew the money they donated stays local.

  In 2019, the newspaper campaign allowed for a $13,000 donation to each of the four food banks.

   Louanne Copat is a volunteer with the Essex Salvation Army, and noted the donation from the Essex Region Goodfellows is always appreciated, especially at this time. This past holiday season, due to social distancing regulations, the Essex Salvation Army had to use a tap service to collect money through its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign, instead of being able to use volunteers.

  As a result, she said the Christmas Kettle Campaign was not quite as successful as it traditionally is. If you would like to learn more or contribute to the Essex Salvation Army, call 519-776-4628.