By Susan Stone
At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 15th, Pawling Rotary volunteers, led by club President Jeff Asher and Vice President and event Chair, Ann Godesky, organized a cadre of additional helpers to Stuff the Bus at the 2nd annual Stuff the Bus Rotary Event, benefitting the Pawling Resource Center Food Bank. Among those on hand to assist were members of the Civil Service Employee Association, which included CSEA President Jeff Stevens along with Pam Rooney, Kevin Richard, Paul Shovelend, and Laura Patrick. The Pawling Resource Center was also represented with a number of volunteers, both at the stuffing and un-loading locations, including Pasquale and Nina Matera Jamie Stone, Vitaly Andruk, Ana and Danielle Gregorio, Zachary Brady, and Board Chair Jon Ellingworth plus board members Dorlaine McLaughlin Judy, Anna Lindstrom. Susan Stone and Executive Director, Terry Ariano. Joining this enthusiastic band of community minded citizens were Hannaford’s hard working employees coordinated by store manager, Darcy Milazzo, all of whom set about the task of Stuffing the School Bus, donated by the Pawling Central School District, with sorely needed items for the Resource Center’s Food Bank.
The Pawling community was unstinting, as residents bought and brought bag after bag of needed items out to the curb to be placed into the bus. Hannaford’s donated boxes of bulk items that were rolled out of the store on two large dollies and were then loaded into the yellow school bus by those on hand, forming a human chain in order to assist each other with the bus stuffing process.
At 1:00 P.M. the bus was driven over to the Resource Center where volunteers assembled to unload over 1700 pounds of food items, paper goods, personal care items and baby and infant needs into the center at 126 East Main Street. Volunteers placed all items on food bank shelves, where these goods are now available to Resource Center clients.
Specifically, according to Terry Ariano, “We received 214 bags (1701 lbs of food and personal care items.) We also received 501 paper product items (rolls of toilet paper and paper towels) and 247 dozen diapers and wipes.” Ms. Ariano added, “Thank you to Hannaford’s for their generous donations, and for sponsoring this event. Thank you to a generous Pawling community, and to the amazing folks who organized and participated from the PRC board, Rotary, CSEA, Pawling Schools and Hannaford’s! And to many dynamic energetic volunteers for collecting, loading, unloading, weighing counting and shelving products!.” Additionally, Hannaford’s arranged for a contribution box at the event site for anyone who wished to make a cash donation to this event. Those shopping at Hannaford’s on Saturday contributed over $400.00, as they opened their hearts and wallets in support of this community wide effort.