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Potluck Grant Dinner
December 21, 2014 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
An event every month that begins at 5:00pm on day 21 of the month, repeating until May 5, 2018
Monthly Potluck Grant Dinner which supports local good causes. Bring a food dish and a $10 donation of which the selected grant recipient gets 100%.
The Mount Vernon Lisbon Sun ran a story about this event on June 25th, 2015, which reads as follows (published with permission from M. Stevens):
Each month, between 15 and 25 community members get together to raise money for small local causes that need a nominal amount to complete their projects. They break bread and open up discussions over a potluck dinner.
“It has actually become a foodies thing as well, which is everyone trying to compete,” said Slaton Anthony, organizer for the project. “So it’s not your grandmother’s church basement potluck dinner anymore.”
And it all started with a less-than-satisfactory Easter bunny costume.
Three years ago, the organizers for the local Easter egg dash were looking for an Easter bunny to make an appearance at the annual event.
Anthony made a trip to pick up a prospective Easter bunny costume that a nursing home in Tipton had volunteered to lend.
“It was an okay costume, except the head was just a skull cap with ears,” Anthony said.
Following the festivities that year, Anthony bought (for $150) a costume for Mount Vernon to call its own and donated it to the parks and rec department.
At about the same time, he heard a story about a group of ladies from Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill., who had gotten together over soup to raise money for local teachers. He thought he could re-purpose that idea to fit Mount Vernon’s needs, thinking it “unacceptable” that the community had to hunt for an Easter costume to help the kids.
“I recognized there was a need in the community for what I would call small, unsupported needs,” Anthony said.
Anthony met with community members Trude Elliott, John Wellso and Joe Jennison to formulate what is now known as the Grassroots Grant Potluck Dinner.
Anthony said that in three years’ time, and with help of a group of about 100 regular attendees, the grant program has raised more than $4,000 and helped a range of organizations. They’ve provided funds to the Southeast Linn Community Center (SELCC) for their seed garden, ping pong table and money for gas. They’ve given money to Mount Vernon’s robotics club, and even donated money to a project to have an antique picture frame redone.
“It’s all and sundry, really,” Anthony said. “We give money for good causes for the community.”
However, Anthony said that despite helping so many, they still face a demand shortage. He said there are dinners when no one shows up to ask for the money, in which case they must agree upon a local project to give the money to unsolicited.