Movie Night to raise funds for Clare Backpack program

August 9, 2019

DPW employee Josh Schuster was honored by the Clare City Commission Monday for ten years of service to the community. He is shown here with Mayor Pat Humphrey.

By Pat Maurer

Wood’s Household’s second annual fundraiser for the Clare Backpack Program will be even bigger and better this year, Wood’s owner Brett Moser said.

The “North Light Movie Nite,” a free event that encourages cash and food donations for the program, will be held Friday evening, August 16th at the Tobacco Ranch this year.

The Backpack Program, which began with an idea Margaret Zinser saw on PBS back in 2014, for the last five years has been providing weekend meals for Clare students who might not get a nutritious mean on the weekends otherwise.

Zinser is now retired but Sara Lewis and Alicyn Johnson with the help of volunteer Bonnie Walter are continuing the program, filling from 17 to 50 backpacks every week. Each backpack feeds one, two or sometimes three youngsters in the same family. “These kids NEED this program,” Lewis stressed in a May interview. “We are here for the kiddos and it’s just one more thing we can do to help make their lives a little better.

Anyone can help out. Donations can be made at the Clare Primary School office or delivered to the pole building located at 8700 S. Clare Avenue next door to Mobile Medical Response Ambulance Service by contacting Alicyn Johnson at 989-400-2639 or Sara Lewis at 989-621-2784.

Or, just come, donate, and enjoy the fun at Wood’s North Light Movie Night next Friday. “It will be a fun event and we are expecting an even larger crowd,” Moser said. “The evening, which begins at 6 p.m., will include an animated feature film at 7 p.m. followed by a classic movie at 9 p.m.”

Last year’s first annual event, held in the Wood’s Household parking lot, was a tremendous success. More than 200 attended, raising approximately $1,000 and “a large amount” of food donations for the Backpack Program.

“Last year was a lot of fun,” Moser said. “Based on that success, we are expanding the event this year.” He said Jim Paetschow offered the larger Tobacco Ranch Location. “The ladies at the ranch suggested another fun addition. Youngsters will be encouraged to make, decorate and bring their own cardboard “vehicles” as seats for a “boxcar drive-in.”

Another new addition is a bounce house provided by Clare Family Fitness. He added that refreshments will be available including popcorn, pizza provided by Buccilli’s, drinks courtesy of Pepsi and Ace Hardware and doughnut holes from Cops and Doughnuts. Cula-fit Foods are another sponsor for the evening.

Moser said, “We’re going to be giving away an outdoor sectional valued at $1,000 during the event. Please plan on attending this fun family event, and maybe walk away with a patio upgrade thanks to a donation from our friends at Ashley Furniture.”

Those attending the “North Lite Movie Nite” will find ample parking at the Tobacco Ranch. Entry is at the main entrance and parking is available at the top of the hill.

Suggested donations to help the Backpack Program include: rice dishes, box pizza, fresh apples and oranges, Ramen noodles, Vienna sausages, beans & franks, crackers, fruit snacks, peanut butter & jelly, popcorn, vegetables (corn/beans), chewy bars, boxed spaghetti mix, sauce, pretzels and cheese, complete meals, pancakes, canned Beefaroni, Spaghettios, boxed mac & cheese, chicken dinners, pudding, fruit, potatoes/gravy, cereal, ravioli, Pop Tarts, soups, spaghetti sauce, chicken, and tuna.

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