By Daniel E. McGonigle
The Caledonia Argus
On July 4, during the parade at Eitzen Family Fun Fest, look for the float prepared by the Caledonia United Methodist church.
However, don’t look for candy, or a freeze pop. This float is looking to collect items not distribute them.
“It’s what you call a ‘reverse float,’ said congretation member and one of the organizers Donna Huttner. “Instead of throwing out candy, we’re looking to get something back.”
Parade attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item which will be donated to the local food shelf.
“All of the donations will be going to the Houston County SEMCAC food shelf,” Huttner said. “The idea is to give back.”
Ann Emery met with the folks at Thrivent Financial and they donated the seed money for the project.
“They gave us the seed money,”Emery said. “They were very generous. We want to thank them for all their support.”
Dubbed “fishin’ for food,’ the project hopes to grow in scope.
“We hope to have as many people donate items as we can,” said Pastor Debbie King-Quale. “This is something that I’ve done at a church that I was at before.”
Caledonia United Methodist church is about spreading the word of Christ, but they are also of the belief that they can use this as an opportunity to give back to their community as well.
“Everything will remain local,” said Emery.
Members of the congregation will walk behind the float with donation buckets to help collect from parade goers.
The idea for the project came from a meeting that they had when King-Quale mentioned doing something similar at a previous church.
“We took it and ranfrom there,” Huttner said.
The decorations are fish themed and Linda Swalve sewed the fish decorations.
In addition to this project, the members are busy preparing for the annual Helping Hands fund raiser as well.
“We usually do that around fair time,” said Terry Lauden. “We give out back packs full of supplies for those in need.”
That event is something the church has been doing for about eight years.
The first year they gave away 35 back packs. Last year, it has grown to 175.
“We hope to do the same thing with the parade,” said Huttner.
During the month of July, any items donated to SEMCAC will count extra.
“That is another benefit,” Huttner added.
So set a reminder on your calendar to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the ‘fishin’ for fun’ float as you enjoy the Eitzen parade.
The group are also accepting cash donations.
“We hope everyone will support the effort,” said pastor King-Quale.