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Help the hungry by attending night of music

July 22, 2010
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Residents can help feed the hungry and give hope to the needy while enjoying an evening of music and fellowship at the 13th Annual A Midsummer Night's Sing, presented by First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers and sponsored by the Galloway Family of Dealerships.

The event, planned for Tuesday, July 27, at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fort Myers, will be a 90-minute performance of hymns, instrumentalists, and special guests beginning at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. First Presbyterian is located at 2438 Second Street, between Lee Street and Royal Palm Avenue.

Admission is a voluntary cash donation and cans of non-perishable food (the more the better) to benefit The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative Ministries (CCMI). Donations of canned goods also will be picked up by The Soup Kitchen for residents who cannot attend the event. Please call 332-7687 to arrange pick-up of food.

First Presbyterian's new pastor, Rev. Paul deJong, is urging the community to help with canned goods and cash donations to help those in need.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we desperately need your help. The need for food is absolutely critical this year. Please love your fellow neighbor and attempt to do what God would do and want you to do," Rev. deJong said.

Rev. deJong also said that none of us knows what the potential impact could be on our economy if the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reaches our shores.

"There is great uncertainty now as to what the future holds, so we need to be prepared to feed those most in need in the event of a disaster," he said.

Organizer Sam Galloway, Jr. said cash donations are especially needed because The Soup Kitchen can buy five times as much food at the Harry Chapin Food Bank for the same amount of money that residents spend at local grocery stores.

"This way, we can take every dollar and make it stretch as far as is humanly possible," he said.

Galloway, who has made feeding the hungry part of his life's work, has arranged for refrigerated trucks to take the food to the neighborhoods that most need help this summer.

"Rising unemployment and the continued downward spiral in our local economy has caused many of our neighbors to ask for food to feed their families for the first time in their lives. Our director has told me, 'Sam, I cannot tell you who, but people are coming for groceries whom you and I know.' We can't allow our neighbors and friends to be hungry. Please we need our community to get together and help with all the canned goods they can. We need to raise the roof with money and food, please!" Galloway said.

Galloway annually sponsors the popular Mrs. Edison's Hymn Sing as part of the Edison Festival of Light in February. Because more than 4,000 people attend Mrs. Edison's Hymn Sing in the winter, organizers planned A Midsummer Night's Sing to allow more local residents to enjoy the same type of activity during the less crowded summer months.

The First Presbyterian Chancel Choir and friends will be featured during the evening, which will include sing-a-longs of well-known hymns everybody knows.

Canned goods and cash donations collected at A Midsummer Night's Sing will be put to use immediately at The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative Ministries, a non-profit organization that serves more than 1,000 meals per day through The Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels and food programs for families in need. In addition, the agency provides transportation for the frail elderly and Montessori pre-school education for children from working poor families.

"Please try to bring whatever cash donation you can and at least two cans of non-perishable food And, if you're among those impacted by our poor economy, come anyway and have a good time," Galloway and Rev. deJong said.

For more information, call 334-2261 or visit



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