“We had it last year for the first time. It’s really a lot of fun, and it was quite a success last year. People not only from our church are big supporters of it, but quite a few people from the community came and they had quite a good time. And it’s kind of nice to go to something that’s fun but you know it’s gonna do some good for people,” said Nancy Zerbe, an active member of the Church of the Ascension.
Stonewall Manor will be transformed into a New Orleans-style Mardi-Gras dance club complete with a catered New-Orleans style buffet and music by DJ Nunzio. An auction also will be held.
Some items that will be auctioned off at the party include a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg, Tenn.; a gift certificate and basket full of products from a local salon; a custom-made table and benches created by local furniture craftsman Fredrick Knight; guest passes to Tellus Museum and Booth Western Art Museum; artwork; and other miscellaneous items.
“If we could make, gosh, I don’t know $5,000, that would be lovely just because we largely rely on donations and grants and things like that to keep the food pantry ministry running,” said Tiffany Pindel, a member of the church and chair of Outreach.
With the proceeds from the Mardi-Gras party, the Church of the Ascension Food Pantry should be able to feed the hungry for five and a half weeks.
Each Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m., the Church of the Ascension Food Pantry is able to feed around 75 families. Two bags of non-perishable groceries are given to each family. Groceries in the bags includes a canned protein such as tuna or chicken, baked beans, green beans, Ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese.
The food pantry also is the only pantry in Bartow County that gives out bags of pet food to families that cannot afford to feed their animals.
“If people are having trouble feeding themselves, they’re also having trouble feeding their animals, and its hard to lose an animal, it’s part of your family,” said Pindel.
To keep the pantry well-stocked, the church relies on grants, food donations from members of the church as well as food donations from other churches in the community. They also budget a certain amount of their overall operating expenses to go to the pantry. However, fundraising is their biggest income producer.
“To be such a little church, it’s just wonderful that we can continue to do this in such hard times. They say things are getting better but we still have a lot of people that need help in this community,” said Zerbe.
Tickets to the event are $40 in advance or $50 at the door and include admission, food and two drink vouchers. You must be 21 to attend. The tickets can be purchased online atwww.mardi-gras13.eventbrite.com or by calling the office at 770-382-2626.