By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes
Organizers of the annual Gubser Miracle of Lights report a record food donation haul.
The annual event, where homeowners in the Gubser neighborhood decorate their homes to raise donations for Marion-Polk Food Share and the Keizer Chamber of Commerce giving basket program, administered by the Keizer Network of Women (KNOW).
Total donations included 25,171 pounds of food and approximately $18,050 in cash, reported organizer Jim Taylor. A check for $17,200 will be presented to Marion-Polk Food Share at the Tuesday, Jan. 18 Keizer City Council meeting.
Taylor attributed the record haul to “good weather” and generous people.” He said the 25,171 in food represents two tons more than the previous record.
“This neighborhood and community-wide effort is amazing. Despite the lagging economy, people donated more food and more funds this year than last,” said Ron Hays, president of Marion-Polk Food Share.
“This event has benefited Marion-Polk Food Share and all of its member charities since 1992. We are so thankful to all the folks who put time into making this event a success for us and for the hungry people we serve.”
Audrey Butler, who coordinates the KNOW Giving Basket Program, said their beneficiaries got about $50 worth of food, including a ham and all the fixings, largely due to generosity from visitors to the Gubser neighborhood.
“It’s huge. It saves us a lot of money,” Butler said.
Their program focuses largely on toys and needs for children, so the food is a way to give the parents something, too.
“The food is a relief, to know they have a nice meal to give their family on Christmas,” Butler said. “It’s also nice for families with babies because we get a lot of baby food too.”