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Boardman hosts White Elephant Sale to benefit fire victims

December 19, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On Dec. 6, a large delegation of school cafeteria workers and food service directors from around northeast Ohio, merged into Boardman Glenwood Junior High School for a fundraising event. The school hosted a White Elephant Sale that saw wrapped, donate gifts being auctioned off to raise money.

Proceeds from the event went to Paradise, California where wildfires destroyed most of the homes and several schools. The funds went to a group known as "Sisters of the Skillet" which is made up of school food service employees.

"The families in Paradise that work in the school nutrition program have been devastated by the fires. 32 out of 38 families in this community that are lunch ladies, have lost everything they own," said Natalie Winkle, Boardman Food Service Supervisor and Vic President of Local Chapter 78 of the School Nutrition Association (SNA). "I could not imagine waking up one day and having everything I own gone, not even a toothbrush, or clothes for my children."

After learning about the devastation to their California counterparts in the school food business at a Supervisors And Nutrition Directors (SANDS) meeting in November, Winkle and Chapter 78 President Joyce Dicks felt moved. The hat was passed at that meeting and $1,200 was raised to help the Paradise families, but Winkle and Dicks felt more had to be done.

"We (Joyce and I) decided that in our annual Chapter 78 SNA White Elephant Sale, we would also pick Paradise, California as the recipient of our fundraiser," Winkle said. "We pick a worthy cause each year and this seemed to us to be the best thing we could do for them."

The response was great and there were over 100 gifts brought to the event. At the end, the Boardman event raised $403.50 that will be added to the $1,200 and sent to the Sisters of the Skillet in Paradise.

Winkle noted that Sisters of the Skillet is the name the food service workers in Paradise came to be called by the Ohio staff attending the SANDS and SNA events.

"We do consider our group to be a caring wonderful group of sisters who care for the nutrition needs of so many students," Winkle said.

She added that cash would be sent to the Paradise Sisters of the Skillet so they can decide where they personally need it the most.



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