NORTH WEBSTER — Meals, whether it was cheese pizza; roast beef, green beans and mashed potatoes; or ham and green beans, were handed out Saturday afternoon by two groups in North Webster. Both started before 4 p.m. and by 5 p.m. nothing was left.
“Thank you so much” was heard repeatedly by those waiting in line to get the free offerings. Smiles were seen spread across faces of people in their vehicles and in the eyes of those whose smiles were hidden under the protection of face masks handing out the offerings.
North Webster Church of God M.O.M.S. hosted with Bourbon Street Pizza the giveaway of 200 cheese pizzas. They had cars beginning to line up shortly after 3 p.m. and by 3:30 p.m. cars were lined up in both directions on SR 13, causing traffic complaints. A quick rerouting of traffic and only allowing entrance from the south, quickly solved the congestion.
Andrea Abel, contact person for M.O.M.S. stated the group does a service project each year. “We had not done one yet this year,” she stated adding after the group could not get together and since the kids would not be going back to school, the group wouldn’t be meeting again until fall. “We put our heads together and decided what better way to help our community … safe and fun way to at least bring joy to people. It’s nice to get a pizza for your family.”
They began serving pizza ahead of the 4 p.m. start time and had distributed the 200 pizzas by 5 p.m.
Up the road and around the corner at The Owls Nest, a dozen cars were lined up in the parking lot, with traffic control soon being implemented through the large parking lot. Like the pizza giveaway, distribution of food began early. Here 500 meals of roast beef, green beans and mashed potatoes were being distributed.
Here volunteers handed out family meals, which served four, or single servings. By 4:22 p.m. the family meals were gone, but the single servings lasted until 4:35 p.m. when over 500 dinners were given out. But no one was turned away. Sleepy Owl staff provided enough ham and bean take and bake meals to those still in line.
Those who were among the last 18 vehicles waiting were given an extra gift. Ed Clayton of Clayton garden center brought down18 Easter Lillies to give away.
Lindsey Grossnickle, whose family was one of those sponsoring the event, stated Chris Francis, Tippecanoe Township Trustee, had decided to donate a portion of his salary to various charitable events. “I cannot righteously accept the money given the current state of our country,” he said in a Facebook post. With this Grossnickles and Francises contacted others who graciously volunteered to help out. “There was an outpouring of support,” Grossnickle stated.
The event at The Owls Nest was sponsored by Chris and LeAnne Francis, Dr. Alan and Peggy Grossnickle, Carolyn Leiter, Brian and Jaime Hull, Mike and Judy Wilson, Andrew and Lindsey Grossnickle, Chris and Shannon Trowbridge, Joe and Angie Racolta, Silveus Insurance Group, The Sleepy Owl, Barts Water Sports, North Webster Ace Hardware and The Owls Nest.
There’s been an indication that there will be another event, hosted by a different organization next weekend. Watch for more information when details become available.