While snow presented a big challenge, the 8th annual Food for Families Fundraiser Crop held at Conestoga Mennonite Church in Morgantown on Feb. 1 and 2 was a success.

The Twin Valley Food Pantry fundraiser opened on Friday, Feb. 1 with snow, and the snow continued most of the day and evening, a snow that was not expected.

This is Twin Valley Food Pantry’s largest fundraiser of the year and event founder and event planner Deborah Harry’s “get er done” attitude is unstoppable when it comes to the growing number of families in the area facing food insecurity.

“We will open, it will go on. We are not cancelling,” said Harry.

Croppers rarely let weather get in the way of an event scheduled months in advance. In prior years, when snow was a possibility, some arrived the day before, checking into the Holiday Inn. A vendor from the Lancaster area reported many accidents.

“Three vendors from that area could not attend until Saturday. Some croppers skipped Friday altogether, although the majority of them did show. The snow impacted vendor sales and our public visitor trade. When we tallied the money Saturday, we couldn’t measure the snow day, but we still came out with a successful fundraiser,” said Harry.

The 77 croppers, 24 faithful community volunteers taking shifts, and visitors had a little trouble navigating the parking lot, which was difficult to plow with so many cars parked there. By the time they left on Friday at 9 p.m. the roads were fairly safe with not much traffic.

The fundraising committee Joan Godwin, Ginny Janoski, Jay and Deanna Arndt, Linda Smith and Linda Zimmerman had spent a year in preparation. They start the day after last year’s event seeking donations and registering croppers. Then the planning begins.

Creating theme baskets with trailing, colored ribbons, attention to detail is their gift! Everything must look perfect for the crowd: the room arrangements, the walls of art, gift cards, the fetching vendor stands, the Welcome Stand where tickets wait to be purchased and placed by eager buyers into containers beside the coveted raffle and auction prizes, the Cropper Room with its many tables, and the menu and kitchen planning where they feed the scrapbookers for the two days.

Why do they come? The registered croppers work and spin their tales at tables where new designs come to life in their scrapbooks, cards and crafts. It is a time to catch up with fellow croppers, to learn and teach new skills. Many come every year. All manner of buttons, bows, scissors, glue, cutting boards and plastic cases of empty pages, photos, wills, census record come alive to create the cherished items.

In the main lobby the prizes ranged from $25 to more than $400, most from local businesses including: Carl Wingard, Inc., Forbes Insurance, Morgantown Beverage, Auto Zone, The Inn at St. Peters, Morgantown Coffee House, Emily’s, BB’s Grocery Outlet, Turnpike Chevrolet, Snap Fitness and Antonio’s Pizza. At 3:30 p.m. Saturday the tickets are drawn, and the winners revealed.

A bake sale of homemade cakes, cookies and candies sponsored by High Point Baptist Academy students was a great hit as usual!

“We asked, we got!” said Harry! “A big shout out and thanks go out to Ed and Kay Turner and Liane Davis for managing the room preparation the night before the event. This is one of the biggest tasks we face in getting ready for the fundraiser. Also, we would like to publicly thank Boy Scout Troop 543 for their amazing work in setting up the church to accommodate the croppers and vendors, and for returning on Saturday evening to take down over 115 tables and chairs to restore the rooms for church use the following day. This is the 6th year the troop has performed magic in transforming the rooms for the two- day event. Thank you to all the croppers, volunteers, and vendors who support us, and now we start planning for next year.”

“We invite the community to come out to support your local Twin Valley Food Pantry, by volunteering or donating. We serve over 150 families from Berks, Lancaster, and Chester county each month. This is their largest fund raiser of the year,” said Directors Howard and Carol Moss. “Founded in 1994 we are an out-reach ministry partnered with community churches, businesses, and The Greater Berks Food Bank.”

For Twin Valley Food Pantry information, call 610-286-9124, email info@twinvalleyfoodpantry.org or visit twinvalleyfoodpantry.org. Follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Food-For-Families-Fundraiser-Crop.

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