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Volunteers needed for Community Cooperative’s annual Sam Galloway, Jr. & Friends Soup Kitchen Benefit


Volunteers are needed for Community Cooperative’s 19th annual Sam Galloway, Jr. & Friends Soup Kitchen Benefit on March 10. The event raises money that helps thousands of men, women and children in our community who struggle with hunger and homelessness.

The popular community fundraiser in the service garages of Sam Galloway Ford relies on volunteers and donations. In 2021, the event raised a record $1.22 million, attracting more than 700 supporters and 150 volunteers along with nearly 20 area restaurants. Volunteer shifts on March 10 start at 9 a.m. and run as late as 10 p.m.

“With vehicle service happening in the garages the morning of the event, it takes an army of volunteers to transform the space to host the event there that night,” said Stefanie Edwards, CEO for Community Cooperative. “The next morning, vehicle service resumes and wrenches are turning by 7 a.m., so it has to be like hundreds of people weren’t there eating and raising money the night before. Volunteering for the event is a wonderful way for people to learn about Community Cooperative and our passion for our mission, particularly people who may not be able to volunteer for us during the day.”

The donated menu for the event includes:

  • Appetizers: Christ and Kaitlin Whitaker of LYNQ, Harold Balink of Harold’s, Mike & Karen Gavala of G3 Catering
  • Garden salad: Will Prather and Maureen Green-Prather of Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
  • Entrees and sides: BBQ chicken and green beans, Vicki and Andre Jones of Jonesez BBQ; smoked pork and swamp cabbage, Wesley Hansen, Jr. and Deanna Hansen; meatloaf and mashed potatoes, Sam’s Community Café & Kitchen at Community Cooperative; smoked brisket, mac & cheese and apple pie baked beans, Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery; collard greens, okra and tomatoes: Chip and Betsy Barnwell of The Farmer’s Market Restaurant; shrimp and grits: Tim and Healy Yoa of Artisan Eatery
  • Desserts: Kristin Potts of Kristin’s Key Lime Pies, Norman and Mary Love of Norman Love Confections, Uncle Charlie’s Cookie Ministry
  • Beverages: Mast Family Culligan, the Mitchell Family of Suncoast Beverage, The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon, Seed & Been Market, Total Wine & More

For more information on the event or volunteering, visit CommunityCooperative.com, email Volunteer@CommunityCooperative.com or call 239-332-0441.

About Community Cooperative

For 37 years, Community Cooperative has worked to effectively eliminate hunger and homelessness in Lee County while simultaneously inspiring and supporting sustained positive change in its clients by delivering innovative food, education and social service programs. With a dedicated team of volunteers, board of directors and staff, Community Cooperative stays committed to its core responsibility to collect and distribute resources through a strong and viable network of community partners. Community Cooperative is an exemplary steward of the resources entrusted to it and serves clients with compassion and integrity. Through collaboration and ongoing education, Community Cooperative supports and strengthens those whose lives have been affected by hunger and homelessness, ensuring that they have access to the resources necessary to transform their lives with dignity. For more resources and information on how to get involved, contact Tami Holliday at Tami@communitycooperative.com or call (239) 332-7687. Monetary donations are always welcomed and can be made directly at www.CommunityCooperative.com, or mailed to: Community Cooperative, P.O. Box 2143, Fort Myers, FL 33902.

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