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Press Release-SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK of Northeast Tennessee

PRESS RELEASE  - June 13, 2016                        
CONTACTS:  Second Harvest:  Rhonda Chafin, Executive Dir. (423)279-0430 ext. 206 or Cell (423)791-2528 Laughlin Health Care Foundation: Betty Weemes (423)787-5117

Laughlin Health Care Foundation Donates $20,000 from Derby Day Fundraiser To Children’s Programs Serving Greeneville and Greene County

Greeneville, TN – A donation of $20,000 from donors to Laughlin Health Care Foundation will help ensure that children in Greeneville and Greene County don’t go hungry this summer or during the Christmas school recess.  The funds were raised through the Foundation’s Derby Day on Main event benefiting “Feeding the Children of Greeneville and Greene County.” - (Not associated with the National ‘Feed the Children’ organization).

Derby Day was held on Kentucky Derby Day, May 7, at The General Morgan Inn.  Guests dressed for the occasion as if they were actually attending the Kentucky Derby, complete with stunning, overstated hats for the ladies and bow ties and straw hats for the men.  Guests enjoyed listening and dancing to music by the Tusculum Jazz Band, with fun-filled, Bill Brown and son, Patrick, as masters of ceremony.  Derby Day beverages and Kentucky Derby food were the center points of the day.

Selecting a favorite horse and then viewing the race on a large screen were highlights of the event.  The individual who picked the winner of the race received a $100 donation made in their name to “Feed the Children.”  Small trophies and “bragging” rights were bestowed for the best dressed lady, best dressed gentleman, best dressed couple, and best hat. 

Betty Weemes, director of Laughlin Health Care Foundation, said, “I continue to stand in awe of the participation at the inaugural event in 2015 and, most certainly, the 2016 Derby Day on Main, both sold-out events.  Guests came to Derby Day to have a good time, but in the same breath they attended to support a good cause.  Plus, for several weeks after the event, we have continued to receive additional funds, because donors wanted to be a part of this meaningful program in the community.”

Weemes continued, “Our sincere appreciation is extended to all who supported Derby Day on Main in any way: participation in the events, other donations, sponsorships, gifts-in-kind, media support, and volunteers.”

The Foundation recognizes that two-thirds of the children in their community qualify for free and reduced meals at school according to most recent data from the State of Tennessee.  Funds raised during the event help feed the children when school is out through the Second Harvest Summer Food Service program.  The program provides lunches and some breakfasts to children who might otherwise struggle to get enough food to eat during the summer months.  This year more sites have been added and attendance has increased.  The Second Harvest Summer Food Program started on May 31 and continues until the end of July.  Any child in need of lunch can participate.

A list of the following sites can be found on the food bank’s website or by calling Second Harvest at (423)279-0430, extension 205.

Mosheim Elementary
Doak Elementary
Debusk Elementary
Greenville Terrace Apts.
Indian Hills Apts.
Prairie Lane MHP
Lakeshore MHP
Greenleigh Village Apts.
Bolton Village MHP
Courtyard Apts.
Crestview Apts.
Greeneville HUD housing
Thornwood Drive Apts.

2015 Second Harvest Summer Food Service Program received funding from the Laughlin Health Care Foundation and lunches were provided each weekday during the summer months.  Families also received meal boxes to help feed their children during the Christmas school recess. A total approximate meals served in Greeneville and Greene County in 2015 through the Summer Food Service Program was 10,289 and 9,943 meals through summer weekend food boxes.  During Christmas recess was 11, 363 meals through meal boxes.

Rhonda Chafin, Executive Director of Second Harvest and Ann Rhem, Development Director, accepted the donation on behalf of the food bank.  Ms. Chafin stated, “This donation comes at a much-needed time and enables Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee to serve the children of Greeneville and Greene County.  This summer we have over 13 sites where we provide lunches to children including the food bank’s Lunch Express bus that drives throughout the community serving  lunch to children in need.”  “We sincerely appreciate the Laughlin Health Care Foundation and everyone who supported the Derby event,” added Ms. Chafin.