Hot wings and rods featured at fundraiser for pantry
Rochester police are hosting the first Wings & Wheels event, scheduled for Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sky Haven Airport on Rochester Hill Road (Route 108). The rain date is Aug. 25.
Visitors will be able to take their photo in a race car built by the NASCAR Institute, ride a Harley Davidson Jumpstart Bike, take part in a hot wings contest sponsored by Mel Flanagan’s Irish Pub and Café, enjoy food from the 306 Restaurant or fly with the Young Eagles, an organization dedicated to inspiring future pilots.
There will also be antique cars, street rods, modern remakes, monster trucks, raffles, prizes and live music from Backyard Tire Fire.
Proceeds from registration, admission, cash donations or canned goods will benefit Gerry’s Emergency Food Pantry, which serves the city.
About 350 to 400 residents use the pantry, located in the rear of the Rochester Community Center at 150 Wakefield St., according to Director Anne Ackerman.
“We have a larger number of new people coming into the pantry,” Ackerman said, adding many people use the pantry temporarily as a means to make ends meet.
“We’re glad to help. We just had someone come in who just got sent an eviction notice,” Ackerman said. “They are unemployed and have two kids.”
Ackerman said the pantry was able to provide enough to help them feed the family.
“We’re always in need,” Ackerman said, adding the pantry always needs more fruit juices, canned fruit, peanut butter, cocoa and toiletries.
While the shelves are stocked for the moment, Ackerman said it doesn’t take much to run out, just as it doesn’t take much to bring residents to their doors.
“Last fall was terrible,” Ackerman said. “Our shelves were empty, but people were very generous during the holidays.”
Food stamps don’t pay for shampoo, soap, deodorant and other personal care products, so Ackerman said the pantry is always looking for donated toiletries, which help people look and feel better.
“I know the police, firefighters and the city do a lot for us,” Ackerman said, adding the pantry relies on the generous support of residents, schools and local businesses like Target, Big Lots and Hannaford.
Ackerman said the supermarket provides the pantry with much-needed bread, desserts and frozen meats.
She added that pantry users are especially grateful for the many local farmers who bring excess fruits and vegetables in to help stock the shelves.
Dave Talon, of Talon’s Organic Garden, said he and his wife, Pam, are happy to donate fresh vegetables — grown in Rochester and Barrington — to the pantry. He added they encourage local farmers to think of the area food pantries rather than just give away excess produce.
“We got a good supply of cukes,” Talon said as he dropped off bags of cucumbers and peapods on Wednesday.
For more information about the pantry, call 330-3486 . For more information on Wings & Wheels, visit http://www.skyhavennh.com.
- - - - - - - -
John Quinn may be reached at email@example.com.
Dodgeball returns to Windham schools