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Fair food sales benefit those in need in Le Mars

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Brenda Nohava, Le Mars Back Pack Program (right), said a $1,000 donation presented by Le Mars Sertoma Club President Karen Nelson is "just wonderful." Sales of items by the local service club during the 2012 Plymouth County Fair made the donation possible, according to Nelson.
Anyone who enjoyed a quick snack or a meal offered by the Le Mars Sertoma Club at the 2012 Plymouth County Fair has helped others.

The local Sertoma group is following the Sertoma mission of meeting the needs of communities through service by making donations to two groups.

Le Mars Back Pack Program and Christian Needs Center (CNC), each recently received $1,000 presented by Karen Nelson, Le Mars Sertoma Club president.

Barb Waltz (left), Christian Needs Center (CNC), accepts $1,000 from Le Mars Sertoma Club President Karen Nelson. The money will be used to support day-to-day operations of the CNC, Waltz said. The local Sertoma club is challenging other organizations to give to CNC and Le Mars Back Pack Program.
Nelson said the local service group is providing information to the public about the donations to encourage similar contributions.

"This was not done to pat ourselves on the back, but to encourage other groups and organizations to give to these two needy causes for those in need," Nelson said.

Le Mars Sertoma used proceeds from food and beverage sales at the Plymouth County Fair to raise the money given to CNC and Le Mars Back Pack Program, Nelson said.

"We sell lots of food at the fair -- popcorn, hot dogs, sno-cones, Wells Blue Bunny ice cream, soda pop, water and Gatorade," she said.

The local club's members sell the items from the Sertoma booth on the fairgrounds as well as in the grandstand, according to Nelson.

"So when you see us in the grandstand, know that the money is going to a good cause and it's staying local," she said.

In fact, Nelson describes the contributions to Le Mars Back Pack and CNC as a challenge to others to give to the back pack and CNC groups.

"It's all about the kids and families," she added.

In January, the back program will mark a three-year anniversary of providing nutritious snacks for weekends.

The food items are placed in back packs by volunteers and sent home from schools with children.

The need to help others through the back pack program is growing, according to Brenda Nohava who coordinates the program.

"Our biggest number of back packs last year was 350," Nohava said. "We're filling 377 back packs (for weekends) this year so we're up."

Nohava describes the support of groups like the Sertoma Club as "just wonderful."

"Knowing that all these organizations are helping us just brings relief to me -- knowing that everybody is thinking about us is wonderful," she said.

The other group to receive a Sertoma gift, CNC, plans to use the $1,000 for day-to-day operations, according to Barb Waltz, CNC coordinator.

CNC is experiencing an increase in the number of people needing help from the center's food and clothing programs.

"We don't rely on any government funding," Waltz said. "This is what keeps us going is the generosity of our neighbors."

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