Students celebrate helping the hungry
For most elementary-school students, there are few rewards greater than a pizza party.
The students of The Adventure Club’s Super Summer Camp at Adventure World Skate Center in Christiansburg would likely agree.
Challenged by local Domino’s Pizza owner Kevin Shaw, the group spent the month of June collecting more than 200 canned goods to be donated to the Governor’s Bowl Chamber of Commerce Challenge food drive.
Shaw promised the camp of around 200 kindergarten through fifth-grade students a free pizza party as a reward for their efforts, and on June 29 he made good on his end of the deal, treating close to 150 students to lunch.
Shaw, executive director of the board of the Montgomery County chamber, said the food gathered by the students made up just a portion of the more than 55,000 pounds of food that has been collected throughout the county during the Governor’s Bowl campaign.
The Governor’s Bowl is a statewide food and fund drive in which chambers and other government offices compete to see who can collect the largest amount of food from Memorial Day to Independence Day.
Though canned goods are the typical donation, Shaw said monetary donations also count toward their total poundage, with each dollar donated counting as four pounds of food.
Shaw said food drives similar to the one at summer camp were held at Tuck Chiropractic and LewisGale Hospital Montgomery and that volunteers had also been stationed outside a variety of local grocery stores throughout the county. He said grocery stores are where some of his most touching tales have come from.
Shaw recounted a 92-year-old woman inquiring about what the group was doing prior to entering the store and then returning with two bags of beans.
“She said, ‘This is all I can do, but I grew up on these beans and they will fill their little bellies,’” Shaw said.
He went on to tell of people donating entire shopping carts of food, as well as many people donating who said they had at one time required the services of a food bank. Shaw said such moments highlighted how the community really came together for this effort.
NormaJean Cupp, director of operations at the skate center, said she had seen that same attitude of generosity from the students and their parents.
She said the parents’ level of involvement had been great and that donations began pouring in almost immediately after they announced the drive.
The drive ended Wednesday, and the group with the largest donation will be presented with the official “Governor’s Bowl” trophy by Gov. Bob McDonnell later this year.
While Shaw admits there is not an official way to compare Montgomery County’s progress against the other groups, he said he really liked Montgomery County’s chances of hoisting the first-ever bowl.
“We think we’re going to win,” Shaw said.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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