Thanks to Sharon Hale at Redoubt Elementary School the efforts of the Peninsula Food Bank to be sure no one goes hungry this holiday season got a special boost with the 2nd Annual Great Grocery Grab competition. According to principal John Pothast it was something the kids wanted to get started a couple of years ago and last year Hale decided to make it a race between our emergency first responders and put the Firefighters against the Troopers for the first Great Redoubt Grocery Grab. "I think the Troopers prevailed last year, so this year being a mayoral election year I thought it would be fun to put our new Borough Mayor Mike Navarre in the race with Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche," said Hale. Last year's grocery grab yielded over 1,200 lbs of canned and non-perishable goods for the Food Bank, "They were pretty amazed when we delivered it all," said Hale.
According to Sharon the kids bring their items in during the week, then Friday after lunch they line the halls at Redoubt with their items and the racers start out in opposite directions having to collect the items from one side of the hallway and then switch to the other. "It was a lot of fun and I had an early lead but then ran into a small slow down heading up the west wing and Mayor Micciche was able to sneak in ahead of my team," said Borough Mayor Mike Navarre tackling his first public event since assuming office. "It was a great day first going to the Veterans Day service, a very serious event this morning to recognize and appreciate our Veterans for their service, then coming here with the kids for a fun event that is targeting a serious community need in supporting the Food Bank. The kids did a great job and are to be congratulated," added Navarre.
Principal Pothast pointed out that the real winner was the Food Bank and the kids at Redoubt who were learning the importance and fun of community service. The 2011 Great Grocery Grab champion Mayor Peter Micciche said, "These are tough times for many folks in our community and this is a really fun way to collect what's needed for the Food Bank. My thanks to the parents who supported their kids and contributed the items for them to bring to school and recognize the needs in our community." Micciche was assisted in his winning grocery grab effort by 5th grader Justin Lavender and 3rd grader Madelyn Barkman, Mayor Navarre by 5th grader Kenisha Ayunerak and 3rd grader Ryder Leete.
According to Hale over 500 lbs. of food items were collected in the mayoral challenge. The Great Grocery Grab is a two week event at Redoubt with the second race being a challenge between Principal John Pothast and KPBSD Superintendent of Schools Steve Atwater. Dr. Atwater was the odds on favorite at press time and Hale was confident that the second heat would put them over the top of last years 1,200 lbs.