Plenty pitch in for Fredonia challenge

More than 5,775 pounds of food was received during the Feeding Fredonia Challenge.

Once again, the Fredonia community has proved itself to be both generous and caring.

For 2017, we, the members of the Fredonia Presbyterian Church, had set a goal of 5,000 pounds for the Challenge. As of Oct. 31, the donations had surpassed that goal and reached a total of 5,775 pounds. Over the last year, the Fredonia Food Pantry has served more than 300 people, many of them as regular guests.

The total food distributed amounts to over 3,500 meals. The Fredonia Central School District reports that an average of 30 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced price lunches. The need is real and the village didn’t ignore those in need.

So many people, businesses and organizations were responsible for making this effort a success.

Mayor Athanasia Landis and the Fredonia village trustees laid the foundation for the effort through their support and endorsement. The Village Hall was even a drop off point. The OBSERVER provided wonderful support and kept the public informed about the progress of the challenge each step of the way.

The Fredonia Central School District was the backbone of the food collection gathering more than 2,500 pounds of food. Many thanks to Superintendent Jeffrey Sortisio for his support and for the hard work of leaders in every school. Principal Amy Piper and Ellen Foley of the Elementary School, Emily Klein of the Middle School, as well as Assistant Principal Dan Parker and Patrick Newel of the High School all made it happen, and undoubtedly many others helped.

And we must not forget the children who brought in the food! Fredonia SUNY also provided vital assistance. In addition to the food collected on campus, the Alpha Phi Omega student service organization and Kappa Sigma helped move the 2,500 pounds of food from the school onto the truck, no mean feat! Their hard work, cooperation and good humor were so welcome on collection day. Thanks to Joyce Smith of the Volunteer and Community Services Office for her help in coordinating the students’ involvement.

Then there were the businesses, offices and individuals who were each a vital building block to our eventual success as they publicized the event and acted as drop off sites. The following were all involved in making the challenge happen: Allstate Insurance, Apnea Care, Arnold/Kukuda Insurance Agency, Bahgat and Laurito-Bahgat, Barbara Ann’s Hair Salon, Basil Chevrolet Buick Cadillac, Dr. Bell Chiropractic, Bella Bronze Tanning, Bodell Overcash Anderson, Brautigam and Brautigam, B&S Discount Tire, The Cakery, Campus and Community Children’s Center, Charlie’s Barber Shop, Chautauqua Brick, Comerford Collision, Concord Pharmacy, Cool Little Music Shop, Colley’s Pools, Culligan Water, The Cutting Crew, Darwin R. Barker Library, DFT Communications, Dollar General on Main Street, Drayo Law Office, Eades and Militello P.C., EBC West, Edward Jones Investments, Facial Expressions, Daniel Faltisco DDS, Family Orthodontics, Final Communications, Fredonia Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, Fredonia Opera House, Fredonia Police, Fredonia Village Hall, Fredonia Animal Hospital, Fredonia Fire Department, Fredonia Food Mart, Fredonia Place, Fredonia Post Office, Fredonia Pro Hardware, Fred’s, Fresh and Fancy Flowers, Gugino and Ryel Financial, Henry’s Hair Co., Howard Hanna Holt Real Estate, Dr. Steven Ihrig, Inner Lakes FCU, Jamestown Mattress, Jim’s Cleaners, John P. Gullo Law Office, Karen’s Hairem, Lady of the Lake, Lake Shore Savings – Fredonia Branch, Lena’s Pizza, The Liberty, Dr. Annette Lukasik Dental Office, Mary’s Deli, Mayville Tremaine Insurance, Medusa’s, Midtown Realty Co., Moonstruck, M&T Bank, Nationwide Insurance, NYC Hair and Color, One Main Financial, Joseph Price, The Paper Factory, Patton’s Lighting Center, Pomfret Town Office, Power Nine, Pucci’s Carpet One Furniture and Bedding, Rose Crino CPA, Salon Belle Vie, Sears Home Town Store, The Sewer’s Choice, Sir Prints A Lot, Soapy Paws, South Paws Signs, State Farm, Tuscany’s Fresh Meat and Deli, Upper Crust Bakery and Soup Co., Vacanti’s Hair and Nail Salon, Valone Ford Lincoln, Valu Home Center, Visions of Elegance Hair Salon, Yeti Vape and other generous people who just dropped off donations without identifying themselves.

It has been exciting to see the community come together once again to help their neighbors. It means so much to know that by coming together we of the village of Fredonia can make a concrete difference.

We of Fredonia Presbyterian Church are honored to serve in such a community.

The Rev. Cynthia Wickwire Lundquist is pastor of the Fredonia Presbyterian Church.