Annual Awards Celebrate Hunger Fighters

The Annual Awards Dinner on March 7th gave us a chance to thank the community for their tremendous efforts to help the less fortunate. As you know, we raised over 2.7 million pounds of food during the 2011 Holiday Food Drive. With a 38 percent increase in the number of people needing emergency food assistance since 2008, every can and every dollar donated is making a difference in someone’s life.

The event took place at the Santa Cruz Business Park on Mission Street, which was donated for our use by Ow Properties. Our amazing decorating crew transformed the space with tables decorated in green, black and white. The centerpieces were oversized glass vases filled with fresh green apples.

We were happy so many people could attend: local school kids, organizations and businesses as well as long-time friends and supporters. One of the best things about working at Second Harvest is that we get to interact with so many people, from pre-school aged kids to retired folks, everyone can make a contribution.

Dinner is served

After guests had a chance to fill their plates at the buffet with the healthy and delicious food served up by Conscious Creations of Santa Cruz, the program began.

Don Lane, Mayor of Santa Cruz with 2012 Hunger Fighter, Bob Montague

In honor of their committed volunteerism the 2012 Hunger Fighters, Michelle Boisen of Soquel Creek Water District and Bob Montague of Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, received proclamations from the cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola, Watsonville, and Scotts Valley, as well as the offices of Congressman Sam Farr, Congresswoman Ann Eshoo, State Senators Joe  Simitian and Sam Blakeslee, and State Assembly Members Bill Monning and Luis Alejo.

The Holiday Food Drive Awards were presented by Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Office of Second Harvest and Danny Keith, Chief Development and Technology Officer. You can view the entire awards/sponsors list here.

Rene Schlaepfer looks on as Ryan Coonerty passes baton to Pat Wadors

Having served as Holiday Food Drive co-chair for two years, Ryan Coonerty, Santa Cruz Council Member, passed the baton to incoming co-chair, Plantronics, Inc., with Pat Wadors, Senior Vice President of Human Resources accepting on behalf of CEO, Ken Kannapan. Ken will co-chair the 2012 Holiday Food Drive with Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church.

Willy Elliott-McCrea closed the evening by saying, “Hunger is more than a moral issue, it erodes the very fabric of our community. I want to thank each and every one of you for your unwavering dedication to doing whatever it takes to build a strong community.”

Through our network of 200 local agencies and programs and their 3,000 volunteers we serve 55,000 Santa Cruz County residents every month. Thank you for making this possible.

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Posted in FoodBank Blog

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