The Cherokee Rotary Club's ongoing Backpack Program of providing food items for the backpacks of needy elementary students on Fridays so they will have meals to eat for the weekend has prompted a Cherokee woman to sponsor a special fund-raiser to benefit the program.
For the past three years, Cherokee Rotary Club members rotate assembling at Roosevelt Elementary each Friday morning to pack the meals to be discreetly inserted into eligible students' backpacks.
After being made aware of the growing number of elementary students who are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program offered by all schools - an estimated 40-percent of the students - Ramona Nitz of Cherokee decided to help make a difference in her community by organizing a fund-raiser for the food program from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday at the Cherokee Railroad Depot in downtown Cherokee.
A Silpada Jewelry Party is planned and all proceeds generated by the event will be donated to the Rotary Club food project. In addition, every dollar will be matched by her husband John Nitz's company, thus doubling the donation.
"I don't know what circumstances have led to this problem" explained Ramona Nitz. "I only know that it is not the fault of the children, so we need to help them."
The Rotary Club's food project, initiated by long-time Cherokee Rotarian George Wittgraf, is mostly funded by the local Rotarians out of their own pockets.
The Rotary Club also finances and sponsors a second Backpack Program for eligible students that entails backpacks containing school supplies.
For more information on Thursday's fund-raiser, contact Ramona Nitz at 261-3531.