Holdridge Home and Garden Showplace Fundraises for the Ledyard Food Pantry

This piece was originally published by The Day on March 6, 2019 by Amanda Hutchinson. Click here to read the original article.

The food donation portion of Holdridge Home and Garden Showplace’s first trivia night fundraiser for the Ledyard Food Pantry was so successful that employees had to deliver the items to the pantry in a miniature shopping cart parade.

The donations were in conjunction with nearly $2,400 raised by the trivia night, held inside the greenhouse on Feb. 24. About 125 community members, including several town politicians, organized themselves into teams for the event, with the winning team receiving medals and a bag of Smarties to showcase their knowledge.

Holdridge’s owner Shari Hewes and head cashier and Hewes’ “right hand woman” Dodie Wade braved blustery winds Feb. 25 to push four double-decker shopping carts from the store down Colonel Ledyard Highway to the food pantry. They joked they wanted a police escort so they could walk down the center of the road but elected to take the sidewalk.

Once inside, Wade presented the food pantry volunteers with an oversized check totaling the funds raised from admission, individual donations and the raffles, stocked by more than a dozen local businesses.

As chief organizer for the event, Wade said she got the idea from seeing how popular trivia has become. A few years back, Holdridge’s had hosted a comedy night in the greenhouse — her husband is a comedian — and she wanted to see if they could recreate its success.

She said it was great to see the entire community come together to support the event, from the participants who signed up as soon as the event was made public to the businesses that donated items to the raffle and also Hewes for keeping the greenhouse open for the occasion.

Town Council chair Linda Davis, helping out at the food pantry Feb. 25, said the trivia night was a lot of fun, with a few teams getting extra competitive and engaging in friendly trash talk.

Hewes said the event was a good way to raise awareness for food insecurity, especially with so many people impacted recently by the government shutdown.

The Ledyard Food Pantry, located next to the Ledyard Congregational Church, is open to Ledyard and Gales Ferry residents with demonstrated financial need. For more information, call (860) 464-0314.

Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in the Times. To submit an item, email times@theday.com.