HANNIBAL | Vehicles lined up in front of the United Way of the Mark Twain Area office on Thursday evening as volunteers, with capes flapping, whisked barbecue dinners to agency supporters during the 2020-2021 Be a Hero campaign kickoff.
The drive-through format was adapted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a way to officially kick off the fundraising campaign while keeping everyone as safe as possible. Orders were prepared and ready to go inside the United Way office with meat prepared by the Rebel Pig.
United Way Executive Director Denise Damron said, after about an hour of serving meals, that it looked like all of the food would be sold — funds raised will be counted toward the campaign goal of $425,000.
Volunteer Scott Boehmer said ticket sales were a bit sluggish when they first went on sale weeks ago, but they came close to selling out during the past couple days.
“It's fun because it's unique and a little silly for us old men to dress up as Superman,” Boehmer said. “I think it gets across our theme for our campaign, which there again, we're asking everybody in the community to be superheroes when it comes to supporting United Way.”
Campaign Chairman Forrest Gossett, who also is editor of the Salt River Journal, said the line of cars showed the level of support in the community for work performed by the United Way and partner organizations.
“We are absolutely delighted with the turnout,” Gossett said, noting how successful the result was given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The support from the community is absolutely amazing.”
The event was staffed by United Way board members and representatives of various agencies, including the Salvation Army, Douglass Community Services and Monroe City Senior Nutrition Center.
McKenzie Disselhorst, Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, said she “loved how they've innovated and changed things to make their event work” despite challenges posed by the pandemic.
“I'm just really happy to get to support them in this way, and it's also nice not to have to cook dinner,” Disselhorst said. “You can't beat driving up and getting a good dinner that you don't have to cook, when it's for a good cause. That's just win-win-win all the way around.”
More information about the United Way of the Mark Twain Area 2020-2021 Be a Hero campaign, its partner organizations and how to donate are available by calling 573-221-2761, visiting unitedwaymta.org or its Facebook Page.