Light show donation helps feed 3,000 families

MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT recently donated a new refrigerated truck to the Sheboygan County Food Bank. Pictured left to right are Dennis Frey (Making Spirits Bright, board treasurer), Lauren Smith (Sheboygan County Food Bank, communications and development coordinator), Greg Liebig (Making Spirits Bright, board vice-president), Gerry Plehn (Making Spirits Bright, board president), Ken King (Making Spirits Bright, board secretary), Eric Zufelt (Sheboygan County Food Bank, board president), Lizabeth Kroll (Sheboygan County Food Bank, food bank director), Patrick Boyle (Sheboygan County Food Bank, executive director), and Jodie Zajkowski (Sheboygan County Food Bank, logistics and warehouse manager).  – Submitted photo

Since 2012, the partnership between Making Spirits Bright (MSB) and Sheboygan County Food Bank (SCFB) has allowed SCFB to grow its organizational capacity, reach and positive impact for hungry Sheboygan County families and residents.

Through the seven-year-long partnership, Making Spirits Bright has collected 473,724 pounds of pantry items donated by the community during their annual drive through the holiday lights show.

In 2018 alone, MSB and SCFB worked together to collect a record 100,451 pounds from the community during the holiday season.

In addition to the donated items, which have an impact on feeding those in need for many months, monetary contributions have allowed SCFB to obtain its first box truck and lift gate, funded the purchase of diapers and specific healthy food items, and provided overall support.

To kick off 2019, Making Spirits Bright is excited to announce that it has fully funded the purchase of a 16-foot refrigerated truck and lift gate for Sheboygan County Food Bank.

This essential piece of equipment will allow SCFB to safely pick up and distribute fresh, healthy foods to its growing network of 15 partner food pantries and other partner agencies.

“Our relationship with Making Spirits Bright is truly wonderful for the community and we can’t thank them enough for their kindness and generosity.” Patrick Boyle, Sheboygan County Food Bank executive director said. “Now we will be able to accept more fresh, perishable food from generous local corporations with which we have established strong relationships.”

In addition, SCFB will be able to offer more meat, which is a highly requested item from pantries and an essential protein source for clients, especially growing children.

Lastly, SCFB will continue to expand its fresh and healthy foods that fall under MyPlate guidelines, such as frozen vegetables, juice concentrates and cheeses.

“Since the inception of Making Spirits Bright, one of the main objectives has been to provide support for the many families who are served by Sheboygan County Food Bank,” Making Spirits Bright Board President Gerry Plehn said. “From generous monetary donations during the 2018 event, we are pleased to be able to provide the much-needed refrigerated truck, which will make healthy fresh foods more available to our neighbors in need of emergency food.”

On any given day, 11,000 people in Sheboygan County struggle with hunger.

Sheboygan County Food Bank leads the community by collecting and distributing healthy emergency food to its 15 partner food pantries and other partner agencies throughout Sheboygan County – at no cost – to ensure that 3,000 families don’t go hungry.

To donate, or learn more, visit

Making Spirits Bright is a drive through holiday lights show choreographed to music in Evergreen Park in Sheboygan.

Originally conceived and presented by the three Rotary Clubs of Sheboygan County, the event has grown to encompass volunteers from throughout the area. The focus continues to be the collection of pantry item donations for Sheboygan County Food Bank. Annually the event runs the night after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.

In addition to the lights show, across the street, Quarryview Center offers visits with Santa, concessions, wreath raffles, and trolley rides.

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