The 18th annual Sam Galloway, Jr. & Friends Soup Kitchen Benefit was held May 6 to raise much needed funds for Community Cooperative. The event honored the organization’s founder, the late Sam Galloway, Jr., who passed away in March. Community Cooperative’s Board of Directors announced the Community Café, known as the Fort Myers soup kitchen, has been renamed to Sam’s Community Café & Kitchen to honor Galloway’s legacy of raising money to help feed the hungry in Southwest Florida.
In fitting tribute to Galloway, more than 700 attendees, a record for the event, raised a record $1.22 million for Community Cooperative to support its vital community programs. The event was held inside the service garages of Sam Galloway Ford in Fort Myers and featured a southern-style dinner prepared and donated by local restaurants and businesses as guests raised much-needed funds to support those struggling with hunger and homelessness.
“This event is such a tribute to Sam’s legacy of ensuring the hungry in our community always have a place to go for a hot meal or emergency groceries. He always said that we had to feed the area’s hungry simply ‘because it’s the right thing to do,’” said Stefanie Edwards, chief development & operating officer of Community Cooperative. “The community stepped up in his honor, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the ability to serve those in crisis in our community with the support of our donors and partners who make this event possible. I know Sam would be proud.”
Restaurants and restaurateurs that donated food to the event included: Chris and Katilin Whitaker of LYNQ; Harold Balink of Harold’s; Mike and Karen Gavala of G3 Catering; Will Prather and Maureen Green-Prather of Broadway Palm; Vickie and Andre Jones of Jonesez BBQ; Wesley Hansen, Jr. And Deanna Hansen; John and Paul Browning of Three Fishermen Restaurant; Shannon Yates and Wally Thomas of Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery; Chip and Betsy Barnwell of The Farmer’s Market Restaurant; Tim and Healy Yoa of Artisan Eatery; Norman and Mary Love of Norman Love Confections; Kristin Potts of Kristin’s Famous Key Lime Pies; Uncle Charlie’s Cookie Ministry; Mast Family Culligan; the Mitchell Family of Suncoast Beverage; The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon; Seed & Bean Market; Total Wine & More.
Despite the funds raised at the event, Community Cooperative continues to need volunteers and donations to meet the needs of the community. For information on how to support or volunteer visit CommunityCooperative.com, or call 239-332-7687 ext. 101.
About Community Cooperative
For more than 37 years, Community Cooperative has worked to effectively eliminate hunger and homelessness in Lee County while simultaneously inspiring and supporting sustained positive change in its clients by delivering innovative food, education and social service programs. With a dedicated team of volunteers, board of directors and staff, Community Cooperative stays committed to its core responsibility to collect and distribute resources through a strong and viable network of community partners. Community Cooperative is an exemplary steward of the resources entrusted to it and serves clients with compassion and integrity. Through collaboration and ongoing education, Community Cooperative supports and strengthens those whose lives have been affected by hunger and homelessness, ensuring that they have access to the resources necessary to transform their lives with dignity. For more resources and information on how to get involved, contact Tami Holliday at Tami@CommunityCooperative.com or call (239) 332-7687. Monetary donations are always welcomed and can be made directly at www.CommunityCooperative.com, or mailed to: Community Cooperative, P.O. Box 2143, Fort Myers, FL 33902.