Below are photos of part of West Flint Optimist Club members that went to the Michigan Welcome Center in Port Huron on August 7 to deliver snacks onto the buses returning from the 59th CANUSA Games held in Hamilton, Ontario. The photo also shows the updated signage courtesy of Dan Crannie. Bill and Bob Hentgen, Greg Hilliker and Steve Schlott represented the Club well. As the bags had been previously packed at the work party earlier in the week, this delivery operation went fairly smoothly, if a bit slower and later than expected (at times our members felt a bit like the Maytag repairman– you know, seemingly waiting forever then getting really excited when the action starts). There was a bit of a delay at the border as each bus was made to unload and everyone show ID before being allowed to renter the USA and finish the trip home. Also, perhaps because they were rattled after an hour delay at the border, or in their haste to get home, one of the charter buses blew right past the rest center exit, so we had some left over boxes of snack sacks–not to worry, though as all of the excess snack food was promptly delivered to the Boys and Girls Club of Flint so even more deserving youth were served, and they are always glad to receive such a donation. Club members should feel good that we served not just the one, but two, of our constituent youth organizations with this project–our club has been involved in every one of the 59 years of the CANUSA Games!
The “bag and box packing” party was held on August 3 and we had a good turnout of members and their families to help. Those helping included Crystufer Reed and his wife, Emily, Joe Bushey and his children, Natalie, Michael and Kaytlin, Mic Goulet, Jack Medemar, Art Ridley, Phil Holmblade, Greg Hilliker, Steve Schlott and his wife, Rose. Sometimes we say the coldest day of the year is whatever December day we ring bells for the Salvation Army–the flip side of that is that the hottest day of the year may very well be whatever August day we pack the CANUSA snack sacks!
The total youth served in Operation Feedbag was about 360, down slightly from the prior year, plus however many more–a few hundred likely–at the Boys and Girls Clubs who consumed the “leftovers”. In total the expenses for the operation came in at just over $950.
Thanks to all who helped carry on this longstanding tradition and worthy project.