Meals of Hope is a year-long fundraising endeavor to raise $50,000. The funds are used to purchase materials for the annual meal packaging event and the meals are later distributed to local food pantries and needy families.
Friends of Hope is a small group of supporters who donate $600 for individual membership or $750 for business membership. Being a member of Friends of Hope includes free admission to the Happy Hours for Hope, recognition on banner at all events, and a guaranteed table at the annual packaging event. Morris said, “Friends of Hope are critical to our success. Their financial support is a key to meeting our goal and they are much appreciated. We still have a few openings in Friends of Hope, so I ask anyone willing to make the financial contribution to please email me and send a check right away so I can add them to our banner!”
The first “Happy Hour for Hope” of 2018 will be Monday, January 29, 2018 at CJ’s on the Bay, 740 N. Collier Blvd (The Esplanade), Marco Island from 5 to 7 PM. CJ’s is graciously hosting the kick-off event for 2018.
Morris explained, “We have ten Happy Hours each year and they are crucial to our success. Curt and Jacquie Koon, Chef Laura and the CJ’s team are some of our biggest supporters. I hope to see a great turnout.”
Happy Hours for Hope are fundraisers for Marco Island’s Meals of Hope. The $20 admission fee helps the organization buy food for its packaging event in November. The meals packaged by volunteers are distributed to needy families in the local communities through food banks and even a Meals of Hope Truck.
What happens at a Meals of Hope Happy Hour for Hope, you might ask? The first thing that happens is volunteers collect a $20 donation at the door, from everyone except those contributing to be a member of “Friends of Hope.” If not a member of Friends of Hope, all attendees donate $20 at the door. The host venue donates hors d’oeuvres and appetizers and drinks are available at reduced or happy hour prices.
Meals of Hope efforts do not stop once attendees enter. 50/50 raffle tickets are available for a nightly drawing. Almost all of the 50/50 winners donate some or all of their winnings to Meals of Hope. In addition to sharing 50/50, participants in the nightly drawing also have the chance to win movie tickets and gift certificates generously donated by Marco Movies.
This year the group will also hold a cumulative 50/50 drawing with tickets available for $5 and the winner gets 50% of the total contribution by all ticket holders. The drawing will be at the packaging event. “We wanted to do something this year that would add some more fun to the packaging event and raise additional funds too. We thought the cumulative 50/50 will be it!”
For most organizations, that would be enough. But, Meals of Hope goes even further to make sure everyone attending its Happy Hours has a great time. Rosetta Stone, accompanied by her spouse and musical partner Tom, volunteers her time and provides musical entertainment at every happy hour. Not only does Rosetta Stone have a terrific voice and knows what songs her audience loves, but she is frequently seen helping to set up, clean up and even contributing by paying for admission and buying 50/50 tickets herself. Her spirit of giving during Meals of Hope Happy Hours is unparalleled.
Marco Meals of Hope is a joint effort of Kiwanis, Noontime Rotary and Sunrise Rotary Clubs. It is a hands-on approach to combating hunger in our community. Volunteers work year round raising funds for its packaging event at Marco Island Charter Middle School. Last year, volunteers packed over 250,000 meals for distribution through the Meals of Hope distribution network. This year’s packaging event is scheduled for Saturday, November 17, 2018.
Admission to Happy Hour for Hope is only $20 and everyone is invited. The events are open to the public, snowbirds, residents and those just passing through. For more information or to join Friends of Hope, please contact Bill “Captain Hope” Morris at 239-642- 6020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.