Charity barbecue to benefit county’s kids

By Jenn Watt

Published May 23 2017

Just more than a week before the fourth annual Food for Kids fundraiser at Sears Adrian and Wendy Vargas their staff and volunteers are gearing up to raise thousands of dollars for Food for Kids.

In the three previous years the fun days at their store location on Highway 118 have brought in about $25000 for the program which provides healthy food to students at all schools in the county.

“We’re not trying to save the world” said Adrian Vargas. “We’re just trying to help a little bit.”

The fact that about 40 per cent of children in the county live in homes at or below the poverty line is a serious issue Adrian said but one that isn’t always apparent to cottagers and visitors.

He remembers the issue hit home to him when he was listening to Moose FM radio host Rick Lowes talk about children who have better access to food at school than at home.

He said that everyone was looking forward to the weekend  – except the kids who weren’t eating.

“Rick had me in tears” Adrian said. “That’s the thing that hooked me on this program.”

Since then on the weekend following the Victoria Day long weekend Sears has been putting on a large fundraising event.

“Food For Kids serves nutritious meals to over 1200 children every day – more than any other agency in Haliburton County our programming relies largely on community support” Aaron Walker co-ordinator of the program wrote in an email to the Echo. “The funds that we raise go directly to the purchase of nutritious foods and is universally accessible to all of the children enrolled in public school within the county.”

This year they will be selling burgers hotdogs and veggie burgers donated by McKecks restaurant and served up by school board trustee Gary Brohman. There are more than $12000 worth of prizes to be won and there will be an auction for a Craftsman tractor worth $2500 donated by Sears. Other prizes include a queen bed set upright camo freezer Schwinn upright exercise bike and gift certificates from local businesses.

Music will be provided by Gord Kidd Karen Frybort and Brian Sachs and his Celtic band. The OPP will be doing a demonstration and classic cars from Huntsville Orillia and the local Time Travellers club will be on display.

Margie Lawrence will be doing seated massage treatments.

Everything has been donated so all money donated goes right to Food for Kids with no expenses Adrian said.

The efforts of the volunteers and the donations from the store’s sponsors and other local businesses and individuals is greatly appreciated Wendy said. Their enthusiastic backing of the event makes it even more successful.

“It’s about a day where the community comes together and has fun” she said.

Music food and activities for kids will be running at Sears Haliburton at the corner of Highway 118 and Harburn Road from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday May 27.