OhioHealth said in a news release earlier this month that the annual Bounty on the Bricks fundraiser event has been canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The event, typically held in August on Court Street in Athens, is a community dinner that raises thousands of dollars every year for the Southeast Ohio Foodbank.
“This has been a hard decision and one not made lightly,” OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital President Mark Seckinger said in the news release. “Still, our planning committee knew we had to act in the interest of public safety.”
The Sisters Health Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations have supported the fundraising event in past years, and each made a commitment this year as well, according to the release. Both organizations made a $30,000 contribution to the food bank earlier this spring rather than waiting until the summer event to disperse funds.
“We’re so thankful to our philanthropic partners for their support,” said Seckinger. “Food insecurity has been heightened due to the pandemic and the Sisters Health Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville have moved quickly to address this crisis. We’re disappointed to not host the event, but are happy to know that a bulk of the funds we normally raise have already reached the foodbank.”
Renee Steffe, executive director of the Sisters Health Foundation, said in the release that the funds will allow the food bank to strengthen its vehicle fleet to make deliveries.
Andrew Mayle, HAPCAP’s Food and Nutrition director (with the Southeast Ohio Foodbank), said his organization was thankful for the support.
“By providing this funding upfront, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville and Sisters Health Foundation have helped to ensure that our member food pantries across southeast Ohio have the resources they need to fight hunger in their communities, right now. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for our services in a way that we haven’t seen since the Great Recession.”
The release explained that Bounty on the Bricks planning committee members are “looking forward to resuming the event in 2021.”
That planning committee group includes representatives from OhioHealth, the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio University Credit Union, Jackie O’s Brewery, Ohio University, Pork and Pickles, Rural Action and the City of Athens, the release added.