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In Skaneateles, BBQ makes money to feed the hungry

"We've claimed the first Sunday in August for the Beach, Blues and Bar-B-Que," smiled Connie Coates, a volunteer for the Samaritan Center. "We put our faith in God and the good people of Skaneateles to make it a success. After all, we are here to raise money with which to feed hungry people, and it's a lot of fun."

A crowd of more than 250 people enjoyed the warm summer afternoon under the tents on the point at the Skaneateles Country Club. With a wine tasting featuring six Finger Lakes wineries, a bar presided over by the legendary Al Colella, food by the Dinosaur and the music of Joe Whiting and Loren Barrigar, the event raised more than $20,000.

"We depend on this and other fundraising events to bring in the money that we use to purchase, prepare and serve meals to hungry men, women and children every day of the year. Most of our funding is locally driven, from individuals, corporations, foundations and fundraising events. We are truly a local solution to a local problem. We are so pleased to be welcomed by the generous citizens, our neighbors, in Skaneateles," said Mary Beth Frey, executive director of the Samaritan Center. "We are especially grateful to Penny and Bill Allyn in their role as honorary chairpersons. Their long family history of work with the Samaritan Center underlines the nature of our mission and its ability to bring people, their time, talent and resources to impact on the issue of hunger in our community."

The event was punctuated by two auctions, one live, presided over by Larry Palmieri and the other a silent auction, arranged and presented by Erin Sammut. Both turned donations of items such as a rug from MacKenzie Childs and a framed postcard from Debbie Traver into meals given unconditionally at the Samaritan Center.

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