AngelaHuston@zoominternet.net   CRHuston@zoominternet.net

On March 7, The Galaxy Banquet Center, 201 Park Center Drive, Wadsworth, was the setting for Breaking Bread on Bourbon Street, an evening of art and jazz reminiscent of the French Quarter, presented by Feeding Medina County.

A sold-out crowd strolled down Bourbon Street during the social hour visiting with friends, enjoying hors d'oeuvres, and viewing the magnificent displays of art auction items mostly available for purchase through silent and live auctions. There were nine live auction items plus silent auction items donated by more than 100 individuals, businesses, and organizations.

One area where guests could purchase displayed items showcased 160 handmade bowls crafted by county high school and middle school students. The symbolic bowls were reminders of the many children in our own community who go to bed hungry each evening.

In an effort to help ease that situation, each bowl was sold for $175, the amount it costs to provide one student with a year's supply of Weekender bags that includes three meals and snacks. In 2018-19, Feeding Medina County packed 35,762 bags for more than 1,000 elementary children in 32 county schools.

On the display table were hand-written notes of gratitude from young children who have received Weekenders. Local art teacher Michelle LoBuglio's students made 90 of the bowls. She said it was a wonderful experience for the students, realizing they were doing something so important to help those in need.

Board member Don Miksch thanked the guests for their continuing support. He recognized the tireless work done by FMC Executive Director Sandy Hinkle, her staff members Dan Meagher and Kelly Smith, and the FMC Board members. He also recognized some of the evening's distinguished guests, among them Judges James and Joyce Kimbler, Judge Kevin Dunn, Commissioner Bill Hutson, Montville Chief of Police Terry Grice, Sharon Center Trustee Kimberly Miller, and Sharon Center Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief, Robert Haas and Michael Stanec.

Judge Joyce Kimbler delivered the invocation before guests enjoyed a lavish buffet prepared by the Galaxy culinary staff; Liz Rowan, of Nothing Bundt Cakes in Strongsville, prepared the individual dessert Bundt cakes each guest received.

Before the live auction began, Hinkle made a cash appeal to the guests. Auctioneer Chuck Stiver and Wadsworth Chamber Executive Director/Honorary emcee Janie Parish together entertained the crowd as they encouraged a lot of bidding to help finance the extensive work of FMC.

The Bourbon Street Sponsor ($10,000) who generously donated to this worthy cause was 3-M Medina. Frenchmen Street Sponsors ($5,000) were Gowe Leasing Limited, Marie Mirro Edmonds Company L.P.A., Medina Veterinary Clinic, and The Medina Hospital Medical Staff. Royal Street Sponsors ($3,000) included The Great Lakes Construction Company, Inspire Brands Foundation Inc. (Arby's), RPM International Inc., Dan and Lucy Sondles, Sandridge Food Corporation, Thomas Tech, LLC, and Westfield.

King Street Sponsors ($2,000) were Ameri-Cal Corporation, Huntington Bank, Rotary Club of Brunswick, Woodbine Products Company, and Jeff and Susan Schomer. Orleans Street Sponsors ($1,000) were Armstrong, Barbara Dzur, Carlson Funeral Home, Dr. and Mrs. Darren Thomas DDC, M.C. Real Estate, Mike and Tracie Rose, Pleasant Valley Corporation, Jeff and Pattie Plumer, Regal Medina 16, J.M. Smucker Company, Waite and Son Funeral Home, and Westfield Bank.

Canal Street Sponsors ($500) were Donald and Carol Baker, Fire-Dex, Ed and Jayne Cole, DS Benefit Group, Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Giovinazzo, and CLAMPCO. St. Charles Street Sponsors ($250) were Chris and Denise Berry, Laurie K. Boyer, Buehler's Fresh Foods, Chuck and Sandy Calvert, Falcon Industries, Drs. Michael and Julie Goyette, Jodway Heating and Cooling, Gary and Kathy Schroeder, Rick and Kerry Kelley, Judge Julie Schafer, and Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.

The committee that orchestrated the gala included Molly Adams, Erin Cline, Jayne Cole, Marie Edmonds, Barbara Gabel, Nancy Gowe, Cindy Grice, Kerry Kelley, Joyce Kidd, Tammy Nelson, Dr. Kelly Parker, Pattie Plumer, Lucy Sondles, Sharon Trenka, Tiffany Trenka, and Paula Trenta.

Some Medina County hunger facts:

*More than 25,000 people are considered food insecure in Medina County.

*Almost one in five children in the community do not have access to a stable supply of food.

*More than 3.5 percent of senior citizens live below the poverty rate and another 19 percent live in the gap (income is too high for assistance and too low to achieve economic stability). *Feeding Medina County transported 500,000 pounds of food in 2019 to 24 local pantries that in turn fed seven percent of Medina County's population.

Feeding Medina County's goal for the evening was to leave with resources to help fulfill its mission: "that no one goes hungry in Medina County." For information on how you can help, please call 330421-4816, or e-mail info@feedingmedinacounty.org.