Good Sam conducting registration for program

Sue Guinn Legg • Apr 26, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Area schools are conducting the Bench Mark and TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) tests they teach, study and practice for all year. Graduation ceremonies are scheduled. And in a matter of weeks the 2011-12 school year will come to a close, and so will the free and reduced-priced meals that as many as one in three of the students in many area counties depend on.

To help provide 600 of those students with food for the meals they will be missing during the summer recess, Good Samaritan Ministries is registering families for its annual summer food program. For 600 families at risk of going hungry, the ministry will provide enough fresh and nonperishable food items to feed four people for about two weeks once each month, beginning in June.

The program will wrap up in early August with a back to school party in which school supplies and a new outfit of clothing will be distributed to each of the students.

Applications are available at the ministry at 100 N. Roan St., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To help with the cost of the summer food program, donations to Good Samaritan Ministries earmarked for “Summer Food” may be made online at www.goodsamjc.org or by mail to P.O. Box 2441, Johnson City, TN 37605.

All contributions to Good Samaritan earmarked for food as well as all donations to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee made before Monday’s close of the annual Feinstein Food Challenge will be matched with a proportional grant from the Feinstein Foundation of New Jersey.

Monday also will bring an end to the Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together Facebook competition for a $1 million prize to be awarded to one of 200 regional food banks nationwide chosen to take part in the contest because of high unemployment in their areas.

Walmart selected Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and Good Samaritan Ministries to run as teammates for the Johnson City area, and with help of supporters from across the region and beyond, the agencies have been at or near the lead in the online voting since the competition kicked off on April 9. Five days out from the close of the competition, the food bank and Good Samaritan had stretched their lead to more than 5,000 votes.

But several larger communities have begun to advance rapidly in the voting and both agencies are repeating their plea for all their supporters to enter their Fighting Hunger Together votes daily at www.facebook.com/walmart.

In a continuation of the furious spring fundraising season that has taken the area by storm, Hands On! Regional Museum will host its annual Hot Tea & Totes, a benefit auction that celebrates women ages 6 to 96, on Saturday beginning 9:30 a.m. at the museum at 315 E. Main St.

Hot Tea and Totes includes brunch and tea by Cafe Lola and the opportunity to bid on any of more than 60 purses, totes and other fun, hand-crafted and designer bags, each containing a special surprise gift for the winning bidder. Life and executive business coach Natalie Manor will be the guest speaker and valet parking will be available at the curb.

Hands On! Marketing Manager Kristine Carter called it the perfect event for girlfriends, grandmothers, mothers and daughters to enjoy together. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased by calling Carter at 434-4263, ext. 108.

Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center for children and young people with disabilities will kick off its 16th annual online auction Saturday and continue the bidding at www.small-miracles.org through May 12.

Small Miracles Executive Director Gwen Keeling said the riding center’s supporters have donated many wonderful items for this year’s auction, including passes, gift packages and other gifts from Picsee Studio, Monticello, Dollywood, Longaberger Baskets and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.

Keeling said there’s something for everyone in this year’s auction and invited everyone to visit the website for descriptions and photographs. Printed auction booklets are also available and may be obtained by calling Keeling at 349-1111 or emailing smiracles@chartertn.net.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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