Share the Feast to receive state award - Republic-Times | News

Share the Feast to receive state award

By on October 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Pictured, the grandchildren of Waterloo Lions Club member Sue Sweet dress up as pilgrims to help deliver meals during a recent Share the Feast event. (submitted photo)

In 1991, Waterloo Lions Club members Lynn Bersche and Don Schmitt learned there would not be a Meals on Wheels program for local residents on Thanksgiving.

They could not stomach this lack of food for those in need, so the men organized the first ever Share the Feast event.

Schmitt owned a local IGA, so he donated turkeys for other Lions Club members to prepare.

Bersche and his wife, Virginia, chaired the event, doing most of the planning and preparation.

Only 15 dinners were served during that inaugural event, but after 26 years it has grown to feed more than 300 people annually.

Those efforts spanning more than a quarter century were recently rewarded by Illinois, which gave the Waterloo Lions Club a Governor’s Hometown Award for the project.

“Just the good feeling of knowing it was recognized and appreciated on a state level is just monumental to me,” said Debbie Ruggeri, a longtime club member who helped lead the push to get this award. “It doesn’t even take a trophy or anything. Nothing can compare to knowing the founders of this event are going to get recognized for it.”

Other club members also expressed their appreciation of the award.

“It was very heartwarming that we won it,” Waterloo Lions Club President George Obernagel said. “I guess the judges felt that we do a great community event during the Thanksgiving time to serve homebound people and families. It’s just an event where we make people happy by giving them a meal for Thanksgiving.”

“It makes you feel good to get rewarded, but we don’t do it to get rewarded,” fellow Lion Ron Mueller added. “We just do it to help the community. The Lions’ motto is ‘We serve,’ and we do that with this event…>>>

Read the rest of the story in the October 10, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times.

If you don’t already receive the Republic-Times newspaper in your mailbox, click here or call 939-3814 to subscribe.

Or consider joining a growing number of readers who receive their news electronically. To view a free demo of the online R-T, click here.

Subscribe to the full-color online edition of the Republic-Times, which is delivered to your inbox every Wednesday by lunchtime and can be accessed anywhere, from any electronic device, for just $25 a year, by clicking here or calling 939-3814.

James Moss