Leader Blues

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TOP STORY >> Group that helps less fortunate holds fundraiser

Hope’s Closet and Food Pantry will host a steak dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the newly rebuilt Cabot Junior High North cafeteria to benefit the organization’s Backpacks on the Go program for needy students.

The junior high school was destroyed by a fire three years ago and will be open for classes on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

The dinner is sponsored by First Arkansas Bank and Trust, which will pay for the cost of the dinner. TV personality Matt Mosler is the guest speaker.

Roger Sundermeier Jr., marketing director of First Arkansas Bank, said the fundraiser is for a good cause.

“We need to do our part and step up to the plate,” Sundermeier said.

The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 years old and under. The proceeds will cover needy students’ school supply fees and pay for backpacks and supplies for students in the Cabot and Beebe school districts.

Kimberly Buchberger, director of Hope’s Closet, said the evening has “got me excited. The community wants to help and pull together.”

“I was brainstorming on how to raise money. I went to Colton’s (Steakhouse) with my idea and asked how they could help.

They said, ‘We’ll do the steaks,’” Buchberger said.

Buchberger said Mean Pig Barbecue is selling her large potatoes at a good price. Double R Florist is donating the centerpieces to decorate the tables.

Hope’s Closet is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to the needy and the hungry in northern Lonoke County and the Beebe area.

Hope’s Closet operates out of Buchberger’s garage at her Cabot home.

She said this is third year Hope’s Closet has helped the students in Cabot. The charity is expanding to help families in Beebe who need assistance.

Hope’s Closet began helping the less fortunate in November 2005, soon after Buchberger and her family moved to Cabot in October that year. She saw there was a need in Cabot for a food pantry.

The food pantry and clothing closet are open by appointment only. The amount of assistance is based on a case-by-case basis.

Volunteers at Hope’s Closet provide rides to the food pantry or make food deliveries to residents who are unable to travel to the location.

Last Saturday, the Arkansas State Teachers Association, the Central Arkansas Teachers Association and the Cabot Fire Department held a fundraiser outside the Cabot Walmart and Kmart to collect school supplies and monetary donations for students.

The fundraiser collected $700, along with school supplies. The three organizations are working together with Hope’s Closet to distribute the school supplies to needy students in Cabot and Beebe.

For more information call 628-7173, or visit online at www.hopesclosetandpantry.com.