Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rachael Ray to do follow up on Wilmington


Assistant Editor

November was a whirlwind of a month at Sugartree Ministries. After serving the citizens of the Clinton County area for years, the food pantry and soup kitchen received national attention last week when an episode of the Emmy Award-winning talk show The Rachael Ray Show, titled Thanksgiving on Main Street, focused an hour on Wilmington and its residents, particularly those who volunteer and utilize Sugartree Ministries.

In the preceding weeks the show gave the facility a makeover, complete with a stocked food pantry courtesy of Sara Lee, and hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for more than 2,000 Wilmington residents at the Roberts Centre.

This week, the whirlwind continues as the show is flying three area residents to New York City for a taping of the show.

Lori Holcomb, circulation director at the Wilmington News Journal and Sugartree Ministries board member, said a show producer called her late last week asking if she would be willing to fly to New York for a taping. Sugartree Ministries director Allen Willoughby and Wilmington High School student and photographer Zach McCune have also been invited to go. McCune took photographs of the city of Wilmington for the show, which were distributed in a photo book collection to the attendees of the community Thanksgiving dinner.

McCune’s photos can be viewed at Snapfish.com, or by following http://opti.snapfish.com/db/USA/RachaelRay/offer.html.

During her time in Wilmington Ray personally took photos, which can also be viewed at the above link.

Holcomb said she has no idea what to expect during the follow-up taping.

“We got the travel itinerary (Monday),” Holcomb said. We’re flying out Wednesday and we are going to the studio on Thursday.”

Holcomb said a film crew was at Sugartree Ministries the day the show aired, Nov. 25, and presented a DVD that was played during the food service.

“It was nice to get a chance to sit back and see what they had done,” Holcomb said. “I enjoyed every part of it, but to see it all put together was kind of overwhelming. I cried a lot.”

Holcomb said that even though she is well aware of the difficulties Wilmington is facing, it was hard to watch on the screen exactly what her friends, neighbors and fellow residents are going through.

“The hardest part of watching it was when the families talk about losing their incomes,” Holcomb said. “That was the hardest part to take in. It’s still hard to hear about, no many how many times you watch it. You really get the overall perspective, from the farmers to the people who worked at DHL, the store owners … you get the entire picture.”

When it comes to volunteering in the newly renovated kitchen, Holcomb said it is really a different experience.

“It’s really nice to have what you need,” Holcomb said. “It’s nice to welcome people in, who utilize Sugartree, into a homey, warm environment. It’s nice to have a facility where you have everything you need to cook properly. I like it all, but for me the kitchen is the biggest thing. There are now two stoves, two refrigerators, two microwaves. You don’t have the scrape things together to cook or piece things together to make it work. Everything is exactly what you need.”

Holcomb said that even though so much has been done to help sustain Sugartree Ministries and Your Father’s Kitchen, local support is always essential.

“We would like for people to understand that while Sara Lee is providing (certain types of food) the need is very great for canned goods and nonperishables, especially this time of year.”

On Ray’s Web site, www.rachaelrayshow.com, entertainer Nick Lachey, who grew up in the Cincinnati area, wrote a blog about the time he spent volunteering in Wilmington with the show.

Lachey wrote, “Wilmington is like a storybook town with a quaint main street, old style movie theater, and mom and pop storefronts through the center of town. But the recent misfortune that has plagued the town is definitely not out of a storybook. When the biggest employer had to close their operations, thousands of people lost their jobs at DHL simultaneously. New jobs were few and far between, and the town was sent into a tailspin as families struggled to put food on the table. I was heartbroken to hear about the community going through such a rough time, especially since I know the area well, so I jumped at the opportunity when Rachael asked me to join her team’s trip to create a Thanksgiving celebration they’d never forget.”


Kitchen Renovations Toronto said...

Love Rachel Ray! And that was awesome of Nick. He's a very humble and nice guy from the various things I've seen about him. It's very unfortunate that many businesses have had to close their doors and many people have lost their jobs. Really good article.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, it was quite helpful and told a lot.