Wow! That about sums up how the Hamilton County Food Pantry Board and all who helped us achieve a record-breaking Can Care-a-Van felt on June 3. With the enthusiasm of so many donors who stopped by to bring a contribution and visit with Channels 10/11 personnel, we did indeed break old records.
At the end of the day, we had received 8,618 pounds of food donations and cash receipts soared to $9,341. CCV counts each dollar to equal two pounds of food given. Using that conversion rate, we are proud to announce a grand total for the day of 27,300 pounds of donated food to add to our shelves for those in need.
This topped off a wonderful day of celebrating a decade of hosting Can Care-a-Van in Aurora. We had so many community folks drop by. We believe that the Channels 10/11 news staff of Jon and Taryn Vanderford and meteorologist Brad Anderson were big draws. We are indebted to KOLN-KGIN for including us in these drives. Highlights of the day included three award presentations:
1. The “Spirit” award, designed by the CCV staff, was awarded to retiring FP Board member, Ernie Ochsner for his dedication to our cause.
2. Pat Willis and Deb Willis of First Christian Church accepted a certificate of appreciation for their church, recognizing former pastor Jay Mitchell for being the one to instigate the food pantry concept in Aurora in 1987.
3. A third certificate of appreciation and a token gift were given to statewide CCV coordinator Joanne Komenda for her 10 years of helping in Aurora with our event.
We have so many to thank for how they helped make this such a successful celebration of a decade of CCV in Hamilton County. Board of director members, as well as other volunteers, Kae Russell and the 4-H kids who worked tirelessly for 7-plus hours to accept, weigh, sort and box up donations. That’s a lot of running, standing on concrete, hefting filled boxes around, all the time graciously accepting can of pork and beans or box of cereal.
Behind-the-scene assistance deserves mention: the city street crew delivered barricades to help make drop-offs safer; the weather cooperated, holding off with the devastating storm later that night; and we must include the women of Aurora’s United Methodist Church and St. John’s Lutheran at Kronborg for feeding us so well. For a second year these two groups provided enough sustenance to keep volunteers going all day. We were a well-fed group and all that was furnished was much appreciated
We know that the publicity in advance made much of our success possible. The Edgerton Center, Jim’s U-Save and Aurora Mall advertising at their businesses, Hamilton Telecommunications advertising on local TV, all contributed. We are always indebted to the Aurora News-Register for coverage prior to the event and for staff to interview and take pictures during each of our annual drives.
We cannot begin to individually thank all the businesses, churches and individuals across Hamilton County for the generous support we have enjoyed all of the 17 years HCFP has been in existence, and for the decade of our hosting Channels 10/11 and Acera Care’s Can Care-a-Van. Donations large and small all came together to help meet the needs of those in our county who request food for their families.
All donations starting in May were counted. Thrivent; LDS; Pleasant Hill Grain and other advance donations were included. AACD helped us publicize our event. Super Wash and Dollar General held month-long drives.
A listing is always inadequate to do justice to all who keep CCV in mind for generosity. We wish to thank them all.
The board for the HCFP wants everyone who contributed to know that each item of food and cash donation was all greatly appreciated. The spirit of generosity shown throughout the county is alive and well!
Thank you again to all in our county for the support of the Hamilton County Food Pantry and what we do. The need for nutritious meals to feed families continues to increase and there are so many other worthy causes needing support and assistance. We never take your donations for granted.
Hamilton County Food Pantry Board of Directors, Barb Johnson, Chair
Counting our blessings
Dear Editor: We have lived in Aurora the last 14 years, had the ability to raise our children here and be a part of one great community. We would like to thank everyone who has been a part of our family’s lives. We have been so blessed.
A couple of thought to share.
First, our children received a great education at Aurora Public Schools. The professional staff was first class preparing them for life ahead. The passion and time they invested is very much appreciated.
Secondly, the business climate and attitude of continued community betterment is known by the reputation, but is experienced and maybe under appreciated when we reside here. When doing business in Aurora there are always friendly greetings and passion throughout. It is not that way everywhere. We are truly lucky.
Although we are members of the Aurora United Methodist Church, many of our friends of other faiths truly are and will remain our closest friends. This, too, is representative of our community working together.
All of these are some of the things that make Aurora, Nebraska such a great place to live. Thank you to our many friends and family. We have been so blessed. May God continue to bless each of you.
Dwayne and Susan Braun St. Joseph, Mo.
Memories from the tornado of ‘64
Dear Editor: Our farm was located near the beginning of this tornado. It was a very windy and dusty day. We knew something was coming as Carl decided to milk early (2-3 cows). I was watching the sky -- a very boiling, cloudy sky. I saw our north neighbors drive by, which was very unusual. It became very still. I went in the house and told our daughter to put away her hemwork at the kitchen table. The lights went out! I said, “Let’s get to the basement.” I had my hand on the basement doorknob, looked out the bathroom window, saw the outdoor toilet tipped over, all the pine trees damaged and the bricks from the house chimney began falling down. I told the kids, “It must be over.” We did not go to the basement. Carl came walking in. He hadn’t dared to come earlier as everything was flying between the barn and house. He had been very concerned for us in the house. I couldn’t help but say, “Look what the Lord protected us from!”
Our building sight was surrounded by trees, these huge cottonwoods on two sides, and pine trees on the other sides. Two cottonwoods were pulled out of the ground with all their roots just about 50 feet from the house, and the pine trees were just twisted off where their branches started, leaving 10-15 foot trunks.
Mrs. Crawford, who lived just a mile southwest of us, came over asking Carl to come with a tractor to lift the barn up off her husband, milking in his barn. Carl went over there, lifted the barn, came right home, stopped the tractor as one big tire became flat. There were no fences left standing around the farm sight.
We had no idea where the tornado went. We did not hear nor see anything as it came and went.
The Bill Springer farm sight 3/4 mile north of us lost all their buildings. The family renting there drove away in time. Pete Ebert, living a couple miles west of us, was injured and died sometime later.
Our farm was located 13 miles south of Aurora and three miles west.
Anna Marie (Mrs. Carl) Moore
Ricketts’ vision will help state
Dear Editor: A recent letter to the editor made some unfounded, reckless charges about Pete Ricketts. To me, it sounded a lot like politics as usual - divisive, mean-spirited, and tired.
Let me share with you what I know about Pete. He’s an honest, hardworking businessman who’s running to help grow our state, not because he wants to see “Governor” in front of his name. Pete has done the work in the farm community. He’s formed an impressive Ag Advisory Team of producers across the state and released a substantive plan for how to grow agricultural opportunity and strengthen the rural economy. Most impressive - he’s shown he’s willing to listen, learn, and then put forward a plan to get to work.
Pete’s worked in the private sector all his life, not the government. His work ethic, integrity, and vision will help move our state forward. I’m excited to support him for governor.
Brandon Hunnicutt Giltner
National Day of Prayer May 1
Dear Editor: Thursday, May 1 is the 63rd Annual National Day of Prayer, with this year’s theme “One Voice United in Prayer.” Hamilton County will join with others around the country as we pray for our country, government, military, schools and families.
Prayer has always been used in this country for guidance, protection and strength, even before we were a nation or a handful of colonies. The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our founding fathers also called for prayer during the Constitutional Convention. In their eyes, our recently created nation and freedoms were a direct gift from God. And being a gift from God, there was only one way to insure protection -- through prayer.
As the heroes of our nation did in the past, we must again bow our heads in prayer. We must ask the Lord to bless our leaders with wisdom and protection, and that they will have the fortitude to overcome the challenges at hand.
We must also prayerfully consider our choices in the upcoming elections, and pray that future leaders will look to God for guidance.
It is our goal that you, your entire family, and your friends will participate in an event on May 1. Prayer breakfasts are planned in Aurora and Giltner with a prayer luncheon being held in Hampton. You are also invited to the Aurora Evangelical Free Church at noon for a time of community prayer. For more information on events and news about National Day of Prayer, please visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
We pray that an event impacts your life, and that praying for our nation moves from a one-day event to a lifetime endeavor.
“So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” -- Romans 15:6