140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Friday, August 28, 2009

Springs Shriners feed Care and Share fundraiser


DEBBIE KELLEY The Gazette

The Shriners are known for entertaining children at parades and healing children at their hospitals.

But members of the fraternal order step up to the plate whenever and wherever they see a need.

Billy Swartz, who belongs to the Al Kaly Shriners of Southern Colorado, read about the difficulty Care and Share Food Bank was having in raising money for a “Truckloads of Hope” campaign that launched July 1. After a month, the fundraiser had only raised $2,100 from businesses and organizations, with a $150,000 goal looming.

Swartz got busy.

“We thought there was something we could do,” he said.

He recruited 10 fellow Shriners to pitch in $100 each for a total donation of $1,100. The men, wearing their traditional red fezzes, delivered the contribution to the food bank Thursday.

The poor economy has increased demand for food by about 30 percent, said Lori Kapu, interim chief executive for Care and Share, which supplies 435 homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries with nonperishable food items, frozen food and fresh fruits and vegetables.

To help fill the shelves during the summer, when fewer donations typically are made, the food bank turned to businesses and organizations, asking them to sponsor a truckload of food, which costs about $1,000 and supplies about 30,000 meals.

Care and Share officials said the campaign has raised about $10,000 so far.
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