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Drive-by food drive is big success

Linda Hiller, Staff Writer

The second annual Share Your Food Drive-by Food Drive held Friday at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden brought a steady flow of donors all day long, with the final tally totalling 12,635 pounds of food and around $3,000 in cash, according to Diane Malone, volunteer director of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet.

“It was amazing to get that much, because I know people get tired of donating food this time of year,” she said. “I know kids are always after their parents for different food drives. Last year, we took in around 10,000 to 11,000 pounds of food and a little less cash, I recall.”

Food closet volunteer Len Frueh said people came to the CVI donation location all day Friday.

“I never get tired of this Valley,” he said. “People really came through. We had a steady flow all day.”

Carson Valley native and Douglas High School graduate Brian Hickey, a news reporter with KTVN Channel 2 in Reno, was on hand Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with live reports on the food drive for television broadcast.

“They said, ‘Who wants to go to Gardnerville?’ and I said, ‘Who else?'” he said. “I’m glad to be here. I’m proud of everyone.”

n Community groups involved. Volunteers from the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club and Carson Valley Sertoma were on hand Friday to accept food and cash donations from drive-by donors, Frueh said.

“We had a donation of $1,000 from Sertoma, $1,000 from Justin Thran and $677 from Kiwanis,” he said. “Some people just came by and handed me checks and $20 bills. It was great.”

Jeane Mulreany, CVI co-owner, said she was happy to donate the space for the all-day food drive.

“It’s nice to be here and watch people come to give back,” she said. “Next year, we’ll have to move it a bit because of our remodel, though.”

Frueh said many groups performed at the event, including Relaxed Fit, the Carson Valley Middle School choir, the DHS Jazzcats and Madrigals, Valley Cruisers, the Saint Gall Contemporary Group and more.

“This year, we had an added element,” Frueh said. “We had eight marines from Pickel Meadow to help us. They did the bulk of the muscle, back-breaking work. We really appreciate it.”

n There’ll be more. Due to the success of the first and second drive-by food drives, Malone said she is sure there will be a third next year.

“Of course we’ll have a third,” she said. “The CVI seems to enjoy it – they’re so good to us – and this worked out very well again, having it there.”

All the food donated Friday will stay in the Carson Valley, Frueh said, through the food closet, open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-4 p.m.

Christmas baskets with traditional turkey dinner makings will be handed out to 300 already-registered recipients Friday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, Malone said.