The roar of engines, smell of high octane fuel and connections with friends are hallmarks of car shows and cruises every summer throughout Beaver County. The amount of work that goes into planning any event can be tremendous and very often, the behind the scenes work goes unnoticed. The same is true of volunteers that give tirelessly of themselves to support others.
Those efforts will combine on May 16th at the Beaver Valley Mall in Center Township when a new edition of the “Lift Your Spirits Car Cruise” begins its support of the volunteers at the Faith Restorations Food Pantry. The pantry, a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization focused on supporting veterans and alleviating hunger, has been overwhelmed in recent weeks with families in need. The need has become so great that the pantry has struggled to keep desperately needed supplies in stock.
“We usually serve about 300 families in an average week, but that has surged to over 1,000 families and the need is anticipated to grow,” says Quina Price, Assistant Director of the pantry. Faith Restorations has also seen the need amongst local veterans double in just a couple of weeks. “We want to help everyone but have had to turn a few families away when we ran out of food,” Quina said. The pantry also supports other outreach programs, such as the food distribution in Darlington that has seen a surge in growth, making the need even greater.
This huge need by local food pantries has been featured multiple times on many local news outlets. One of these segments was seen by Mr. Dennis Farmer of Center Township, a classic car enthusiast and organizer of two community car cruises. The cruises were intended to bring smiles to families sheltering at home but after watching the news, Dennis decided to combine his love of cars with his desire to help a local pantry. “I knew I wanted the next cruise to help someone,” he said. After reaching out to Nathan Goughnour, owner of Beaver County Events, for suggestions, he decided to support Faith Restorations. “It is a perfect match and I am excited for this opportunity, Farmer said.
Dennis is asking everyone, with and without cruise cars, to meet at the Beaver Valley Mall with non-perishable food items starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The pantry will have two vehicles parked between National Tire & Battery and U-Haul ready to receive donations. The 3rd “Lift Your Spirits Car Cruise” will depart the mall promptly at 12:00 Noon and proceed on a two hour drive through the communities of Center Township, Aliquippa, Hopewell, South Heights, Ambridge, Baden, Conway, Freedom, East Rochester, Beaver and Vanport before returning to the mall. A complete turn-by-turn route map is available at www.beavercountyevents.com or on Facebook via @BeaverCountyEvents. A rain date for the cruise has been scheduled for May 17, 2020 at 12:00 Noon. Local first responders will be assisting along the route.
According to Quina, some of the supplies most in need include pastas, peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti sauces, soups, macaroni and cheese, cereal, pancake mix and canned items such as fruits, vegetables, tuna and chicken. Paper products and storage bags are also desperately needed. For those wishing to donate fresh or frozen perishable food products, please contact the pantry for guidance. Of course, financial donations can be provided to the pantry 24 hours a day online at www.faithrestorations.org. Please contact the pantry if you would like to become a volunteer. Dennis is hoping to fill their trucks beyond capacity. “I want to help them out and hope others come out to support them,” Farmer said.