SUMMIT, NJ - Chalk it up to 'Just Summit Being Summit'.
Despite the pandemic and the many hardships it has presented to all, the Hilltop City again showed that giving back is a major part of its DNA. A fact reinforced in bold numbers -- specifically the record-setting numbers achieved during the 13th Annual Summit Frozen Turkey Drive staged by Summit's Other Fellow First Foundation.
On an overcast day -- when the donations were tallied -- the silver lining showed:
- 377 turkeys totaling 3.6 tons
- Three more tons of groceries
- More than $5,400 in cash
The event had never 'filled the truck' before but, this year, the rig was full a full 15 minutes prior to the drive's conclusion.
For the last 13 years, for the benefit of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Summit has donated a sum of 37 tons of turkey, 22.5 tons of groceries and $104,000 in cash.
Once again, the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad and its president, Bob Flanagan, supported the drive -- demonstrating the power of partnership, especially in tough times.
Local artist Lisa Dworkin went the extra mile by contributing 50% of the proceeds from her recent art show to the Foundation, and New Jersey's First Lady Tammy Murphy produced a marketing video to stimulate philanthropic interest in the event.
Other highlights included:
Foundation Trustee Neale Trangucci commenting that several cars apologized for not being able to contribute a turkey, and asked if the drive could spare one for their family's Thanksgiving dinner, which he cheerfully accommodated, while fellow Foundation Trustee Courtney Zanelli was presented a $500 gift from the Summit Elks Chairman Mike Helmer -- another example the many Summit organizations looking out for each other.
Summit natives and Foundation Trustees Jamie and David Haire were delighted to see so many of their friends and families turn out to support the drive and, as always, Foundation trustee -- and Summit Diner owner -- Jim Greberis kept the coffee and food flowing for all the volunteers.
Of special note, Ryan Turner and his two adorable daughters, Charlotte and Vivian from Short Hills, delivered a 'half-century' of 50 turkeys.
The Other Fellow First Foundation -- which supports families and neighbors in distress -- is celebrating its 20th anniversary and was disappointed to not being able to host a gala celebration of that milestone. The Foundation's Board of Trustee were effusive in their gratitude for the community's record-breaking support, but were quick to point out that demands for its help have never been greater, and the Foundation was hoping the gala would go a long way to rebuild its financial coffers.
To donate to the Other Fellow First Foundation, visit otherfellowfirstfoundation.org.