By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Area United Way kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Sept. 17 by collecting donations for its Nutrition On Weekends (NOW) meal program.
Nearly 100 people took jars of jelly to Rogers Cinema in Marshfield, which got them popcorn, soda, and admission to a special viewing of “Despicable Me 3” on the cinema’s mega screen.
United Way Director Paula Jero said the event was a new way to kick off the fall fundraising efforts and gather supplies for NOW.
“The program began four years ago, and it’s a program that the United Way staffs along with 600 volunteers every week,” Jero said. “We actually kicked off the NOW program this week. We served 230 kids our very first week of the program, which is three times as much as we normally start with, so the jelly will go to good use.
“Part of the food packs is we need to find food that goes into the packs that is very stable, so one of the things our volunteers do is they make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so every pack has two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It has fresh fruit, fresh vegetable, a dry cereal in there, granola bars. Sometimes we have a lot of cheese from Nasonville Dairy that goes in there.
“Rotary Winter Wonderland, all of the peanut butter that comes through Rotary Winter Wonderland they donate to the NOW program, so we end up with a lot of peanut butter but not a lot of jelly, so this is going to make that sandwich match.”
This year’s United Way fundraising campaign is being chaired by City of Marshfield Development Services Director Jason Angell and his family.
“I’ve always been involved with United Way for probably about eight years now, serving on different committees and now on the board as well,” said Angell. “Paula and a couple of the board members approached me and the family to do this. They liked the way that the Holms family did it last year and how things turned out there, the family aspect, so I presented it to Kim (Angell) and the kids, and they were really excited about the opportunity.”
Angell said the next step in the campaign process would be giving presentations to businesses and organizations about United Way and the various agencies and programs it serves.
He added his family is also exploring the idea of doing more family-oriented events like the movie day. In Angell’s words, “We really want to do it as a family campaign as much as possible.”