Members of the Lakehurst/Manchester Rotary chapter donated hundreds of dollars to two local causes at their most recent meeting.
The local Rotary last week presented $500 to benefit the Helping Hands for Hunger food drive, which is held yearly at Manchester Township High School. Kevin Burger, director of Student and Administrative Services for the school district, accepted the donation on behalf of Sarah Tiffault, who administers the project.
About 60 volunteers worked in two shifts for an hour and a half to pack supplies for about 200 local families in need last year. This year's effort should be even bigger, according to Township Council Vice President Brendan Weiner, who is also a local Rotary board member.
"This year they're looking at doing over 260 baskets, which include a turkey and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner," he said at the governing body's meeting Monday.
The Rotary also gave $100 to MTHS teacher Lisa Vecchione and student Viona Richardson, vice president of the school's Habitat for Humanity club. The donation will be used to pay for the club's annual membership dues.
Last year, the group helped to build a home for a family in need in Pine Lake Park. This year, Habitat for Humanity will help a Toms River family whose home was damaged by fire.
Donations made to Rotary during Manchester's ConcertFest series at Harry Wright Lake last summer brough in "several thousand dollars," Weiner said. The organization plans to donate the money back to the community.
Elementary student efforts were also highlighted at the meeting — children from Manchester Township, Whiting and Ridgeway elementary schools have been collecting canned food for the Helping Hands drive.
Rotary International has over 1.2 million members who serve in 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries, according to the release. Those interesting in joining the organization, which meets each Thursday, 7:30 a.m. at the Lakehurst Diner, can contact Weiner at 732-232-9542.