After a two-year hiatus because of COVID, Lakewood hosted its iconic Independence Day parade on July 4th this year, with our Rocky River-Lakewood Kitchen once again joining the festivities.
Our 19 merry-making volunteers put on a great show! Decked out with chef's hats, aprons, hairnets, and kitchen utensils, they walked behind our new banner, pushing kitchen carts and handing out roughly 1,000 bananas to enthusiastic spectators along the nearly mile-long route. Bringing up the rear of our contingent was Bryan Frisch, who drove his decorated truck carrying two "chefs" mixing food in an enormous pot and waving to the crowd.
What a rewarding event! The July 4th crowd showered our volunteers with encouragement, applause, cheers, and shouts of "thank-you" - not to mention appeals for bananas - the entire way down Lake Ave. The best part: We were able to raise awareness of our organization and its important mission among thousands of our neighbors in the community.
We send a huge thank you to Jay Antel, manager of the Rocky River Giant Eagle, for arranging the donation of several hundred pounds of ripe bananas for us to hand out.
We also thank Bryan and Kate Frisch for driving and decorating their truck and helping transport our props. Thanks to John & Sharon Hosek, Scott Denney, and Kathy Blackwell for taking pictures. Special kudos to Candace Vincent, who led our organizing committee, including Deb Denney, Lauren Walsh, and Cheri Gardiner. And finally, many thanks to everyone else who marched with us for Meals On Wheels: George Andrews, Karen Czerniawski, Tucker Handley, Lynda Kovach, Margaret Rhynard, Ann Rich, Kathryn & Scott Rieg, Nikki Salupo, and Carol Wilson.