Eat to the Beat: Fundraiser to help FLCC build bigger kitchenWritten by Morgan Delp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 24, Feed Lucas County Children Inc. (FLCC) will hold its first fundraiser.
The event, set for 4-8 p.m. at Manhattan’s, 1516 Adams St., in Toledo, will be called “Eat to the Beat” and will feature food and music as well as a cash bar and silent auction, with items such as artwork and gift certificates as prizes, said FLCC Executive Director Tony Siebeneck.
Live entertainment will be provided by local folk musicians Dan Gruenke and Chad Norman, who play acoustic guitars and mandolins, said event organizer and FLCC board member Linda Bowyer.
Admission to “Eat to the Beat” costs $25 for adults, $15 for students 12 and older and $5 for children 11 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at feedlucaschildren.org or at the door.
Siebeneck said he expects the fundraiser to fill Manhattan’s with more than 200 people.
“The board of directors said ‘We’ve never done anything like this before, and it’s time to get the word out’,” Siebenck said. “Other fundraisers have been held [at Manhattan's] and have been very successful. … It’s a great location, right in the heart of Toledo.”
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward building a new kitchen, Siebeneck said.
The nonprofit organization, whose kitchen is in the old Macomber High School building, has grown since its inaugural year, when it served 7,200 meals to area youth.
“We have essentially outgrown our kitchen,” Siebeneck said. “We feel the building’s days are limited.”
More than 25,000 children in Lucas County are living below the poverty line, Siebeneck said.
“This (new) kitchen will be able to do around 20,000 meals a day. This is going to help put an end to any reason why a kid should go without a meal. That is a good enough reason for anybody to be there and support this,” Siebeneck said.
Bowyer and Siebeneck said FLCC is looking at a couple potential sites for the new kitchen, but no decisions have been made yet. An architect’s rendering of what the new kitchen will look like will be on display at the fundraiser, Siebeneck said.
In addition to raising funds for the new kitchen, the event will raise awareness of the organization’s cause, Bowyer said.
“We want to promote awareness (of FLCC) because some people don’t even know we exist,” Bowyer said.
In addition to serving meals to hungry children, Bowyer said the new kitchen will enable FLCC to partner with other organizations and offer classes to people on topics such as cultivating a home garden and learning to cook healthy meals with inexpensive foods.
This will not be the first time FLCC provides outreach to the community beyond the meals it serves. Siebeneck said the kitchen is also used as a training location for people looking to gain employment skills and get back into the workforce.
Also this summer, FLCC is providing a free youth summer camp that focuses on nutrition, physical exercise and a professional education curriculum. The camp for children in grades one through six is run by adult volunteers and AmeriCorps VISTA representatives, with assistance from older children. The camp, located at The Knight Academy, began June 11 and is already proving to be successful, Siebeneck said.
“We have over 350 kids there. This day camp has exploded,” Siebeneck said. “The camp filled in two days, so we’re maxed out. We’re trying to take the overflow kids to other sites and … we would be more than happy to duplicate the camp at other schools in the future.”
Feed Lucas County Children is funded through private donors, businesses, grants, churches and some federal money, according to feedlucaschildren.org. It has provided more than 700,000 summer meals for children 18 and younger since 2002, according to an FLCC news release. This summer, FLCC will operate from 80 different countywide locations.