Gleaners Food Bank Nourished by Sunday Benefit
Canton Community Foundation raises at least $5K for food bank by partnering with Emagine Theatres.
Emagine’s owners, Paul and Mary Glantz, support the benefit “because it is the right thing to do," said Mary Glantz.
Canton Community Foundation organizes the evening, which includes a strolling buffet and choice of first-run movie. This year about 200 people attended.
Most attending seemed to enjoy a Sunday evening out, sampling the gourmet buffet provided by Jeff Zak Catering of Plymouth – the sugar-encrusted bacon and a brownie pudding with orange-flavored whipped topping appeared to be crowd favorites.
People piled food on clear plastic plates. The mini pork sandwiches garnished with wasabi-flavored maynaise, cheese-infused mashed sweet potatoes and stir-fry disappeared quickly.
Guests also got to fill containers with scoops of candy typically served at theater concession stands before heading over and watching one of eight first-run features (The Mechanic, The Fight, The Green Hornet, The Kings Speech, The Rite, Black Swan, 127 Hours or No Strings Attached) or watch a live-streamed broadcast of the Screen Actors Guild awards.
Courtney March and Natalie Howard, 17-year-olds who live in Canton, wore bright orange National Honor Society shirts while helping serve food. They and fellow National Honor Society member Michael Fluegemann, 16, of Plymouth, fulfilled a commitment to community service required by their group. But they also clearly enjoyed the time.
“Knowing you’re helping someone else, especially when you can see them, is fun,” said March. Fluegemann said he picked Sunday’s event as a volunteer opportunity because he likes to support Gleaners.
“In the past, we’ve had this on the night of the Oscars,” said Joan Noricks, Canton Community Foundation’s president, a few days before the party, adding that she thought more people would watch the films than the awards show.
Noricks said Sunday she was delighted with the evening.
“The best part I like about this is the collaboration between us and Gleaners and Emagine, non-profits and a for-profit coming together for the sake of our community. That’s what it’s all about. It’s missional. We have a great time but we don’t take our eyes off the fact that there are hungry people in Canton and Western Wayne County,” she said.
Gleaners distributed approximately 40 million pounds of food to its partner agencies in 2010, compared to 36 million in 2009, according to a Canton Community Foundation statement promoting Sunday’s fundraiser.
DeWayne Wells, Gleaners’ president, surveyed the bustling room Sunday night and said it makes sense for Gleaners to partner with Canton Community Foundation.
“Gleaners provides food to Canton’s Open Door Ministry Food Pantry as well as Canton’s HeadStart program,” Wells said, adding that it is misconception to think that no one in Canton Township struggles to put food on the table.
“It’s a wonderful event,” said Felicia Haggerty, who volunteered at a booth for the Canton jewelry shop, Showroom of Elegance. “It’s really cool to see how Canton Community Foundation brought the community together for this.
By the end of the evening, coat-check volunteers Ashley Verville, 25 of Westland and Stephanie Biglow, 25 of Northville, were making plans to help with next year's Magical Night with the Stars.
"It's my first Gleaners event," said Biglow, a registered nurse. "It was so much fun. We were just talking about doing this again next year."
Verville, who had asked Biglow to donate time to Gleaners, said she loves to volunteer because "it makes me feel good."
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect the correct title for Joan Noricks, who is Canton Community Foundation’s president. Canton Patch strives to ensure the accuracy of every story. When mistakes happen, Patch editors want to correct and clarify as quickly as possible.