Hungry families and children out of school for the summer will benefit from an evening of music and fellowship at the 17th annual "A Midsummer Night's Sing," presented by First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers and sponsored by the Galloway Family of Dealerships.
The event, planned for Tuesday, July 8, at First Presbyterian Church, 2438 Second St. in downtown Fort Myers, will be a 90-minute performance of hymns, instrumentalists and special guests beginning at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free, although voluntary cash donations and cans of non-perishable food will be accepted to benefit Community Cooperative (The Soup Kitchen).
"For some families, summer means a certain kind of freedom. For the families we serve, it means just the opposite. Summer months can be the cruelest season for families who can't rely on the schools to feed their hungry children," said Community Cooper-ative CEO Tracey Galloway in a prepared statement.
During the school year, children often receive their only meals of the day at school.
To ease the strain this summer, Com-munity Cooperative is partnering with Sam Galloway Ford for the third annual Summer Drive for Hunger with a goal of collecting 25,000 pounds of food and raising $25,000 to support hungry families during June and July. Sam Galloway Ford will donate $1 for every pound of food dropped off at the Fort Myers dealership.
"We need to help The Soup Kitchen by donating as much canned goods and cash donations as we can to keep these pantries going," said First Presbyterian's pastor, the Rev. Paul deJong, in the statement.
Community Cooperative provided food and other services to 10,250 people last year with the help of partner agencies, including the Harry Chapin Food Bank and United Way.
"There are even more families who need our help. Do what God would want you to do and give what you can," deJong said.
Community Cooperative was started by First Presbyterian Church in 1984 to help alleviate hunger and suffering in Lee County. The church has continued to support its ministry there by providing volunteers in The Soup Kitchen and delivering hot meals to home-bound seniors through the Meals on Wheels program.
Hymn Sing organizer Sam Galloway Jr., has made feeding the hungry part of his life's work.
"Our community has done so much to help our neighbors, but we need to do even more. If we each just gave the equivalent of what we would spend on a meal - either at home or in a restaurant - those few dollars could feed a family of four for an entire week." Galloway said.
Galloway annually sponsors the popular Mrs. Edison's Hymn Sing as part of the Edison Festival of Light in February. Because more than 4,000 people attend Mrs. Edison's Hymn Sing in the winter, organizers planned A Midsummer Night's Sing to allow more local residents to enjoy the same type of activity during the less crowded summer months.
The First Presbyterian Chancel Choir and friends will be featured during the evening, which will include sing-a-longs of well-known hymns everybody knows.
A Midsummer Night's Sing is the second of three hymn sings sponsored annually by the Galloway Family of Dealerships. The other two are Mrs. Edison's Hymn Sing in February and the very popular Holiday Carol Sing in December. All three events benefit Community Cooperative (The Soup Kitchen).
For more information, call 334-2261 or visit www.fpcfortmyers.org.
About Community Cooperative
Since 1984, Community Cooperative has worked to end hunger and homelessness in Lee County with headquarters in Fort Myers, satellite offices in Cape Coral and Fort Myers Beach, and mobile services throughout greater Lee County.
Clients range from shut-ins, homeless families and individuals, to the working poor and children. In addition to serving upwards of 200,000 meals each year through Community Cafes and Meals on Wheels, it provides comprehensive life coaching and homeless services, oversees an emergency mobile food pantry and provides emergency food to hungry school children and their families through the Growing Healthy Kids School Pantry and Backpack Programs.
The agency partners with United Way, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Lee County School District and regional community foundations as well as with community and service groups, churches, businesses and other support organizations.
About First Presbyterian
Church of Fort Myers
First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, located at 2438 Second St. in downtown Fort Myers, is a community of faith, celebrating a loving God. First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1901 and continues to be an integral part of Lee County by presenting some of the area's most well-attended events, such as Mrs. Edison's Hymn Sing in February as part of the Edison Festival of Light, A Midsummer Night's Sing in July, and the Holiday Carol Sing in December.
All three events benefit The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative, which also was founded by First Presbyterian Church in 1984. Services are offered Sundays at 11 a.m. with Sunday Adult Education from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.