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S.O.A.R. food bank fundraiser to be held in person once again

By Mark Squibb/April 21, 2022

After holding the Spirit of Alex and Riley food and fundraiser for the CBS – Paradise Food Bank virtually for the last two years due to the pandemic, Louise and Bernie Mercer are excited to announce that this year’s drive, now in it’s ninth year, will be held in person at the Salvation Army Citadel in Long Pond on Monday, May 9 — the birthday of both Mercer children, who passed after valiant battles with cancer.

“Everybody is welcome to come in for tea and birthday cake,” said Louise. “We’ll be there all day, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.”

Louise said they were glad to be able to hold the event virtually during the pandemic, but that nothing beats seeing folks face-to-face.

“Being online, it’s not the same as being able to see people face-to-face and being able to shake their hand or give them a hug,” said Mercer. “We’re elated that we can get back to normal because the community support is really what has been driving us these last years since the loss of Riley, and to be able to see the community come out again, rather than just give donations online, where we don’t get to speak to anybody, we don’t get to say ‘Hi,’ but doing it in reality, people have the opportunity to come in and say Hi, stay a little while, have a chat and a piece of cake.”

Food, monetary donations, and gift cards will all be accepted. Tea bags, tinned soup, tinned milk, Kraft Dinner, cookies, sugar, tinned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter, jam, and tinned meats are all suggested items to donate.

Due in part to the pandemic restrictions, including the cancellation or alteration of fundraising events, food banks, including the CBS Paradise Community Food Bank, have been hard pressed these past two years. So, the S.O.A.R. food and fundraiser seems to be coming at a critical time.


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