28th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CAROL SING TO HELP COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE FEED THE HUNGRY
FORT MYERS, FLA., November 5, 2018 – Celebrate the holidays and help feed the hungry by singing at the 28th Annual Christmas Carol Sing sponsored by the Galloway Family of Dealerships.
The Christmas Carol Sing will be Tuesday, Dec. 11, at First Presbyterian Church, 2438 Second Street in downtown Fort Myers, between Lee Street and Royal Palm Avenue. Admission is free, although organizers request voluntary donations of at least two cans of non-perishable food for The Soup Kitchen, operated by Community Cooperative, and a voluntary cash donation, if you can.
Because of the overwhelming popularity of the event, three sing-alongs are planned at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The doors will open 30 minutes prior to show time.
Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. It provides more than 15,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Meals on Wheels programs, distributes more than 500,000 pounds of groceries through its Mobile Food Pantries, and serves 6,500 individuals and families with homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers. A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach.
The church has been a strong supporter of the agency from the beginning and continues to support its ministry there by providing volunteers and other support for The Soup Kitchen and 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, especially with so many people still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Irma. 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 said cash donations are especially needed because Community Cooperative can buy five times as much food for the same amount of money that residents spend at local grocery stores.
Residents who cannot attend any of the Christmas Carol Sing performances may donate canned goods at either the Galloway Ford dealership on Boy Scout Drive or the Coconut Point Ford dealership on U.S. 41 in Estero or mail donations to Community Cooperative, P. O. Box 2143, Fort Myers, FL 33902
The Christmas Carol Sing is a festival of holiday music and family fun. This year’s 90-minute performance will feature the First Presbyterian Church Choir, soloists and other special guests singing favorite holiday carols with audience sing-a-longs.
There is a strong rumor that Santa Claus will be making a surprise visit for the “children in all of us.”
Tin addition to the Christmas Carol Sing, the Galloway Family of Dealerships also annually sponsors Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing in February. Both events benefit The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative.
Last year, Community Cooperative received 6,000 pounds of canned goods and other non-perishable items from the Christmas Carol Sing. The food was immediately distributed to those in need.
For more information, call First Presbyterian Church at (239) 334-2261 or visit www.fpcfortmyers.org.
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 and the “Christmas Carol Sing” in December. Both events benefit The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative, which was founded by First Presbyterian Church, along with other local churches, in 1984. Services are offered Sundays at 11 a.m. with Sunday Adult Education from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. A nursery is available from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Hearing assistive equipment also is available.
Photos (identified left to right):
- The Rev. Dr. Paul deJong of First Presbyterian Church, Sam Galloway, Jr., Christmas Carol Sing founder and sponsor, and Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative.
- First Presbyterian Church organist Eddygrace Bernard (SFM)
- Santa and Mrs. Claus listen to the Christmas wishes of Bree Balcer (SFM).
- Collecting food for Community Cooperative: George Torres (Lehigh) and Renae Kosecki (Lehigh)
- Ushers Betty Campbell (NFM) and Fred Stevens (East FM) welcome guests to the Christmas Carol Sing.
- Rev. Roger Peterson (Cape), First Presbyterian Church minister of music, leads the audience in song.
- Soloist Beverly Cox sings “We Need a Little Christmas.”
- Soloist Beth Filiowich sings “O Holy Night.”