Drive, putt and chip away at hunger
Raising money for the FaithCentre Food Bank in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, is a full-time job for Executive Director, and Thrivent member, Nicole Summers. The food bank serves about 700 people each month in Centre County, a rural area of around 28,000 residents.
Most food and funding comes from the state and federal government or is donated by local grocery stores. But the food bank must purchase some of the healthier options, such as lean proteins, locally produced milk and fresh, locally grown produce.
FaithCentre also operates a thrift store to help cover these expenses, as well as the mortgage and utilities. Nicole organizes several fundraisers each year to make up the difference. The Tee'd Off at Hunger Golf Scramble is one event.
"Without fundraisers like this and the Thrivent Action Teams that support them, we wouldn't have a food bank."
– Nicole Summers, executive director of FaithCentre Food Bank
"I've led several Thrivent Action Teams to raise funds for FaithCentre," Nicole says. "When our board proposed the idea of a golf scramble four years ago, I learned all I could about golf and asked someone familiar with the sport to be part of our team. Since that first event, many of the same people participate year after year, not only to enjoy a beautiful day of golf but also to support our community."
Organizing the event that first year was daunting, but things have gotten easier each year as Nicole discovered what works best. Providing several food options seems to be the key.
Golfers start the day by picking up a swag bag of items donated by local merchants. They move on to an informal lunch of hot dogs grilled by Nicole's crew. After the four-person teams golf 18 holes, they enjoy appetizers in club house. The day wraps up with a sit-down dinner and silent auction.
"We raised more than double our goal at last year's golf scramble," Nicole says. "Without fundraisers like this and the Thrivent Action Teams that support them, we wouldn't have a food bank."