Silly Walks Contest Benefits Food Bank
It began as a good laugh about an old Monty Python sketch, "The Ministry of Silly Walks."
It evolved into a fundraising event for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
Eye Candy Gallery in downtown Southern Pines will be transformed into The Ministry of Silly Walks for an evening of hilarious hijinks on Saturday, May 12.
Starting at 7:30 p.m., a panel of three "celebrity judges" will award points to anyone who stops by to show off a silly walk.
There is a $5 entry fee to participate in the contest, with all proceeds going to the Food Bank. The gallery originally promised to "slap the winner with a herring," but then thought perhaps a small trophy and "Silliest Walk in Town" bragging rights would be more suitable.
"When we opened in October 2010," says gallery owner Frank Pierce, "part of the concept for the gallery was to give back to the community whenever possible."
To date, Eye Candy Gallery has raised funds for the Moore County Pet Responsibility Committee and FirstHealth Hospice Foundation.
Gallery manager Nancy Rawlinson made the decision to support the Food Bank with this event.
"It is amazing to me that people go hungry in this day and age," she says. "The Food Bank is high in people's minds during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, but there is a need for food all year long.
"I want to raise the awareness about the continuous need in our area."
Sadly, hunger remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. Established in 1980, the Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties for 30 years.
The Sandhills Branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves four counties in south central North Carolina: Lee, Moore, Richmond and Scotland.
In the counties served by the Sandhills branch, more than 36,000 individuals are at risk of hunger: 4,000 are children and more than 11 percent are 65 years and over.
Last year more than 4 million pounds of food was distributed to 98 agencies in those counties. The Food Bank at Sandhills operates two trucks that traveled more than 37,000 miles last year. Volunteers donated more than 3,100 hours of their time last year - equivalent to approximately two full-time employees.
Funds raised through this event will support programs in the Sandhills area. Ninety-seven cents of every dollar donated to the Food Bank goes directly to help feed the hungry. In addition, each dollar donated to the Food Bank means the distribution of $10 worth of food.
The Silly Walk Contest will run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at which time the emcee will crown the winner.
If necessary, a silly "walk off" will break any tie scores.
"The gallery hopes that participants will harness their creativity for this fundraiser and demonstrate their silliest and most outrageous walks," says Rawlinson. "Costumes are encouraged."
Preregistration is suggested but not required. To sign up, send an email to eyecandygallery@raleigh. twcbc.com.
Eye Candy Gallery and Wine Bar features local and regional artists. The gallery is located at 275 NE Broad St., Southern Pines.
Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, call (910) 246-2266 or visit the website at www.eye-candy-gallery.com.
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