Concordia and Iona Team Up for Good Cause
Bronxville, N.Y. - On Thursday, July 28, representatives from Concordia and Iona handed over a $1,200 check and many canned goods to support the Eastchester Community Action Project (ECAP) Food Pantry. Kathleen Hymes, from the registrar's office at Concordia, and Regina Reilly, from the admissions office at Iona, presented ECAP area director Charlene Lambrecht with the contributions.
The money and food items were donated through an inaugural charity softball game played at Concordia College's softball complex by the faculty and staff of Concordia and Iona. Each player was required to donate to the pantry to participate in the game, and fans and colleagues who came to cheer were also encouraged to make donations.
"We are so grateful for the support and awareness that [were] brought to our organization through this effort. There are so many in the community who struggle to provide for their families," said Ms. Lambrecht.
“Feeding the hungry and providing service for those who need it is part of what this college stands for, that’s why we do this,” said John Bahr, Dean of Experiential Learning and Associate Professor of English at Concordia. “It’s an added benefit to be able to share some fellowship with these people. We don’t always get a chance to come together and do something as a team so it’s a lot of fun.”
One of the players that took the field was Dean of Concordia College Sherry Fraser, who took up her post at left field after receiving some very simple, yet crucial instructions from the host team’s coach. “It was one of those feel good kind of things you could do during the summer with a fellow institution in our neighborhood, and for an absolutely phenomenal cause,” Sherry said. “What our coach said was just have fun, and nobody get injured.”
Each month the ECAP Food Pantry, through partnerships with local food banks, distributes food to more than 100 families living far below the poverty line. While canned food drives are prevalent throughout the holidays, ECAP points out that there is a growing year-round need for offerings that is often overlooked. ECAP notes that nearly 25% of Westchester County residents live below the poverty line and over 3,000 are homeless. ECAP says that last year over 5 million meals were served in Westchester, about half served to children.
Aside from the food pantry, ECAP hosts an after-care program and summer camp for low-income families. The programs focus on fitness and nutrition while providing educational and computer skills.
Both Concordia and Iona hope to make the charity softball game an annual event, with the hopes that proceeds will reach as many local organizations and individuals in need as possible. For more information on the Eastchester CAP Food Pantry, contact Charlene Lambrecht, area director, at 914-337-7768, or email Clambrecht@westcop.org.