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Second Harvest Applauds Hunger Fighters

The annual awards dinner honored those who helped feed hungry kids in 2011.

There was enough clapping at the annual awards dinner Wednesday to make your hands ache.

Yeah, the contributions made by the Santa Cruz County community during the were just that good.

"It's an amazing gift that you all gave," said Santa Cruz City Council Member and Food Drive co-chair Ryan Coonerty. "This is a tremendous community."

Here's a snapshot:

  • There was the Aptos church whose , and they raised 1.2 million.
  • In Santa Cruz, a man asked his friends to swim around Municipal Wharf—in December, without wetsuits. The "Will Swim for Food" campaign brought in more than $18,000 in donations.
  • Students at schools large and small contributed so other kids, perhaps even their peers, wouldn't go hungry. , in Watsonville, "busted the 10,000-pound mark again," Second Harvest Chief Development Officer and emcee for the evening Danny Keith.
  • Michelle Boisen from the Soquel Creek Water District and Bob Montague, a Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes volunteer, were .

Over 55,000 people go hungry in Santa Cruz County each year, according to Second Harvest. The goal was to raise 2.5 million pounds of food or cash equivalent. The community raised 2,715,919 pounds last year. That's up from 1 million pounds six years ago.

All of that and more was celebrated at a gala affair in the old Wrigley building on the Westside of Santa Cruz. Dinner was served by .

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