Basket fund receives $10,655 donation

By AUTUMN HUGHES

Posted 1/31/18

Customers of Cooke's Food Store & Pharmacy raised $10,655 for the William Hall Rodgers Christmas Basket Fund to benefit our community neighbors in need. The donation represents about half of the fundraising goal for the 2017 campaign.

This item is available in full to subscribers

Basket fund receives $10,655 donation

Posted

Customers of Cooke's Food Store & Pharmacy raised $10,655 for the William Hall Rodgers Christmas Basket Fund to benefit our community neighbors in need. The donation represents about half of the fundraising goal for the 2017 campaign.

“Each year, we find ourselves amazed at the generosity of this community. It’s part of the Cleveland spirit,” remarked Matt Ryerson, president and CEO of United Way of the Ocoee Region.

For more than 90 years, residents of Cleveland and Bradley County have been participating in a longstanding tradition to provide neighbors who find themselves lacking during the holiday season with a basket full of food for a Christmas dinner. The program, more widely known as the William Hall Rodgers Christmas Basket Fund, is continuing the tradition this year, hoping to provide hundreds of food baskets to local families who find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

Danielle Seals, director of marketing and communications for the United Way of the Ocoee Region, said 2017 marked the United Way’s first year participating in the campaign.

“(Cooke’s) has been participating for several years,” she said. “It’s a longstanding partnership.”

“We’re always blown away by how people come together to give to those in need in this community,” Seals added.

James Vassell, engagement coordinator for the United Way of the Ocoee, said sign-up days for basket recipients are in early November, which is when fund organizers begin collecting donations for the year.

For 2017, the fundraising goal was about $25,000, Vassell said. He added that organizers are still calculating donations taken in. Any donations collected over the goal roll over into the next year’s campaign.

Vassell said Keith Scott, store manager at Cooke's Food Store & Pharmacy, has done “a tremendous job with the campaign.” He said Scott asked store delivery drivers to come to the warehouse where the food for baskets was stored, then Scott himself helped unload the trucks.

“He really was hands-on and did a phenomenal job in being a leader in the community,” Vassell said.

Scott said the 2017 donations have “fallen in line with previous years.” He said both the Cooke’s Food Store & Pharmacy on Keith Street and the Fresh N’ Low Cost Plus stores on Candies Creek Ridge Road and Broomfield Road take donations during the campaign.

“We do it for four weeks starting right after Thanksgiving,” he said.

The basket fund is named after former Cleveland Daily Banner Editor William Hall Rodgers, who saw the need to help families have a nice meal for Christmas.

Rodgers, who suffered from polio, had a passion for helping needy families. He worked with Associated Charities to help fill families’ empty cupboards at Christmas. When he died, the basket fund took his name as a tribute to his efforts.


Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE