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COMMUNITY

Sun City Elks team with Peoria community to support food bank

Posted 12/1/23

For more than 15 years, the Peoria community of Ventana Lakes has hosted an annual fundraising event for the Valley View Community Food Bank, 10771 W. Peoria Ave. The charitable organization feeds …

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COMMUNITY

Sun City Elks team with Peoria community to support food bank

Posted

For more than 15 years, the Peoria community of Ventana Lakes has hosted an annual fundraising event for the Valley View Community Food Bank, 10771 W. Peoria Ave. The charitable organization feeds and clothes thousands of residents in need.

When the Sun City Elks Lodge learned the event organizers Kathy Freda and Lori Norris had lost their venue for this year’s fundraiser, Lodge Veteran Services Committee reached out asking if they could lend a hand to become part of this project. Charity is one of the core pillars of the Elks organization. Governing statutes not only allow community involvement, but highly encourage them.

The question was answered with a resounding “Yes.” Months of effort for a successful community partnership between members of the Elks Lodge and the residents of Ventana Lakes began. And successful it was.

The fundraising event Nov. 18 had 220 attendees for dinner, comedy entertainment, a live band and dancing. There were also 50/50 raffles, silent auctions and a live auction gift card tree raised $17,000 in donations with about $5,000 of in-kind food and clothing.

Valley View Community Food Bank founder and President Jesse Ramirez was moved by the support from his community. Other special guests included Peoria Willow District Councilman and Mayor Pro Tempore Jon Edwards with his wife Brenda. Lending their support to the effort as well were Elks District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, West District, Larry Bodwell and his wife Diane.

Building community relationships creates solid collaborative foundations. The generosity of the organizers, the residents of Ventana Lakes and the Sun City Elks working hand-in-hand help the Valley View Community Food Bank continue their purposeful work.