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Tremont & Duck Island Block Clubs Join in the Annual Holiday Food Drive for Our Neighbors in Need

  This past November, South of Jefferson invited other block clubs to engage in a “friendly competition” to see which group could bring in the most donations in the annual Tremont, Duck Island and Irishtown Bend Holiday Food Drive – of nonperishable food items, paper products and cash/check donations. The ultimate goal is to help food pantries, like St. Augustine, Pilgrim, St. John Cantius, St. Michael the Archangel, Westside Catholic Center, and St. Malachi to feed our Duck Island, Irishtown Bend and Tremont families and children in need in the holiday season. Seven block clubs took them up on the challenge for 2016: Auburn-Lincoln Park, Central Tremont, Duck Island, Holmden-Buhrer-Rowley & Mentor-Castle-Clark, Irishtown Bend, and North of Literary. This year has featured the most participating block clubs (8) and joined by the Tremont West staff – our teams collected lots of canned goods, paper products and check/cash donations  - the equivalent of 14,965 items (or $4,840 in cash/checks and 5,285 food items)! For the purposes of this year’s competition, which brought in way more check donations than ever before, each dollar donated by check/cash was considered equivalent to two items (for example a $50 check donation was considered to be 100 items of canned goods). This increase from two years ago (where $1 = 1 item) is based on feedback that the food pantries can often purchase items at a better rate than is available to the public through retail groceries). Nonetheless, even with this change which helped the numbers – still way more checks/cash were donated this year!
  So now – drumroll please - we are announcing the “reigning champs” block club – based on the number of total items and checks /cash donated through January 13th. This block club will have “bragging rights” in the competition for the coming year – until next year’s Holiday Food Drive! Well, here are the final standings for the block club donations in the friendly competition of the Holiday Food Drive 2016/2017:
  The chart below compares this year to last year.  These are the final totals and reflect food items and cash/check donations contributed through the Food Drive deadline of January 13th, 2017.  
  Congratulations to Central Tremont Block Club, 1st time champions, who moved from 2nd place in the 2015/2016 food drive to 1st place this year! Awesome, job Central Tremont!! They did experience stiff competition this year – and all the block clubs can be proud of their efforts and the generosity of their memberships. Many thanks!
  Everyone’s numbers were great – but a shout out to Irishtown Bend (the newest block club and smallest in geographic size and number of residents) in its first year coming in with 649 items (a great outpouring from their membership) – and to HBR-MCC whose numbers increased from 59 items last year to 292 items this season. This was also the first year that Tremont West staff fielded a team and came in with 459 items. Congratulations! Great job done by all the block club memberships and staff!
  Most important of all is the goal: lending a helping hand to neighbors – families and children - in need in Tremont, Duck Island, and Irishtown Bend - and providing help to support the outstanding work of six Near West side food pantries-ministries – St. Augustine Church, Pilgrim Congregational Church, St. John Cantius, St. Michael the Archangel, Westside Catholic Center, and St. Malachi – who get nutritious food to children and families all year long!
Many thanks to the Block Club Food Drive Coordinators for all their time, efforts, marketing, and encouragement of their memberships:
Auburn – Lincoln Park: Annie Schraibman and Patti Choby
Central Tremont: Lynne Nowel and Julie Goulis
Duck Island:  Rich Clark
Holmden-Buhrer-Rowley & Mentor-Castle-Clark: Bev Wurm
Irishtown Bend: Marcy VanderTuig and Roy Keating
North of Literary:   Greg Petsche and Sarah Rossi
South of Jefferson:  Ashley & Andrew Stebbins
Tremont West staff: Lindsay Smetana and Scott Rosenstein
  And many thanks to all of you for your incredible kindness and generosity to the food pantries and to our Duck Island, Irishtown Bend and Tremont neighbors in need! We look forward to your continued support and generosity in 2017!