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Food drive aims to top $20,000

(2/25) Just over three years ago, an Emmitsburg businessman proposed encouraging local residents to save their change to help feed the poor.

Today, the "Change for Food" effort, originally conceived by local photographer Robert Rosensteel, Sr., and brought before the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA) in 2009, continues to experience strong support.

As originally proposed, the money raised continues to go to the Emmitsburg Food Bank to help provide for the needy in the Emmitsburg area.

To date, the three-year-old fund raising effort sponsored by the EBPA has raised around "$600 shy of $20,000," Rosensteel said.

In order to hit or exceed that $20,000 mark, the EBPA is holding a special event on March 30 at Red’s Tavern, 135 Chesapeake Avenue, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Rosensteel said, "They’re (Red’s Tavern) having a celebrity bar tender night to help raise funds. They’re also seeking ‘celebrities’ to participate. We’re hoping to have the mayor and fire chief."

"Since we got so close to that $20,000 mark, we were hoping to go over that," Rosensteel said. "For three years, that’s (nearly $20,000) a pretty good chunk of change for change just out of your pocket."

The fund-raiser primary raises money through the placement of change drop boxes located in various business in town.

Currently, the change boxes can be found at Jubilee Food, 515 East Main Street; Exxon, 110 Silo Hill Road; Carleo Italian Pizza, 101 Silo Hill Rd, #5; Carriage House, 200 South Seton Avenue; Paul’s Pit Stop, 150 South Seton Avenue; Holy Grounds Café, 2 West Main Street;The Palms, 20 W Main Street, and Red’s Tavern.

"We have found some strange things in the boxes," Rosensteel said, "Strange coins, acorns, wire, all kinds of things. But I’ve also found $100 bills and checks for large amounts of money."

Local businesses and organizations have also held special events to provide addition funds, including Jubilee, who sold paper Santa Clauses in exchange for contributions, Ott House, who held a "bartender night" as a fund raiser, and the American Legion, who has also hosted a celebrity bartending night.

"We’ve also had several people who save their pocket change all year long, then towards the end of the year, they dump their change when the food bank really needs help," Rosensteel added. At least one local student activity generated $100 for the food drive.

Rosebsteel also said that occasionally a class at the National Fire Academy will seek donations among its attending members to give something to the town, which has raised as much as $300 per effort.

"The generosity of the community of Emmitsburg is remarkable," Rosensteel stated.

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