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Whaling Days beer garden raises money for the hungry
The beer garden in the 21+ Club at Whaling Days draws thousands of thirsty festival-goers each year.
This year, the parched patrons enjoyed drinks and opened their hearts and wallets to those in need.
Whaling Days organizers recently gave the Central Kitsap Food Bank a record-breaking check in the amount of $1,440.
We do what we can to help, said beer garden volunteer organizer Vicky Webb, with a smile.
Between 35 and 40 volunteers serve drinks at the Whaling Days beer garden. They set up tip jars throughout the area and all tips raised go directly to the CK Food Bank.
It really makes me feel good to know that the community is behind the food bank, said Hoyt Burrows, executive director of the CK Food Bank.
Last year, the beer garden raised $971 for the food bank, but Webb and other volunteers displayed many signs promoting their cause and drew in the crowds at this years event.
People came down looking for (the tip jars), Webb said. We put signs everywhere.
Burrows will use the money to buy food and hygiene products including meat, canned foods, grains, toilet paper and other items. He said he should be able to buy 8,000 pounds of food with the money raised from the Whaling Days beer garden.
When I started in the food bank business 10 years ago I knew there was a need in the county, Burrows said. I also knew there was generosity, but I didnt know just how much there was.
Burrows buys a lot of the food from wholesalers in Seattle as well as local merchants.
I buy a lot of stuff from Silverdale Red Apple Market, he said.
Webb has organized the 21+ Club for about 15 years and keeps acquiring more volunteers each year.
They all come back every year, she said. No matter how many people we have, its very, very busy.
The wine section of the 21+ Club donated their tips to the Clear Creek Trail and the Alive Shelter.
Last month, the CK Food Bank served 412 families, a total of 1,242 people, mostly children. It gave away 433,000 pounds of food in 2006.
The CK Food Bank is always looking for donations. People can mail monetary donations to P.O. Box 748 Silverdale, WA 98383 or bring food and hygiene product donations to the food bank. Contact the CK Food Bank at (360) 692-9818.
Were not desperate, but if September doesnt get here pretty quick we will be, Burrows said. When you give away 400,000 pounds of food a year you do need help.