by Anna Trusky
At its Annual Meeting on September 20 at the Calabrese Club in Westerly, the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center (PNC) honored Alexis Ann, founder, editor, and publisher of The Resident, with its 2012 Good Neighbor Award. PNC Executive Director Vicki Anderson presented Alexis with the beautiful bronze-and-wood plaque.
“This part of our Annual Meeting program is our favorite part. It’s when we present our Good Neighbor Award to someone in the community who has contributed to the betterment of the PNC in a significant and unique way,” Vicki said. Six years ago, she pointed out, the PNC began a joint fundraiser with The Resident in order to raise awareness of hunger in our community. While The Resident is the “good news” newspaper—and hunger is not a happy topic—Alexis recognized the importance of spreading the word about this need, which is even more critical today, Vicki explained.
“Our donations tended to drop during the summer months, and we knew we had to become proactive and make the community aware, so The Resident and the PNC began ‘June is Local Hunger Awareness Month.’ All proceeds go to support the PNC’s Weekender Backpack Food Program for Children,” Vicki said. In all, approximately 350 children in Stonington and North Stonington have been served by this program—and sadly, the number of income-eligible children is only continuing to grow.
Thanks to the public-awareness campaign Alexis conducted via The Resident during the past six years, over $26,000 was raised, Vicki reported.
“Alexis, because of you, local children have been provided with fresh, cold milk every weekend of the year—and enough food for each meal per child over the school-year weekends and 21 meals each week throughout the summer,” Vicki said. “You gave the community the chance to feel good about making a difference. This was the very good news. People could donate $5 each and it mattered.”
Vicki also thanked Alexis for raising public awareness of local families who cannot afford turkey dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas. “When the public learned that over 500 families at each holiday needed a turkey plus the fixings, they began food drives. Each and every year PNC has come up with enough turkeys. It wouldn’t have been possible without you, Alexis. The ‘good news’ is the good deeds done by the community that learned, through The Resident, that they could help feed their neighbors,” Vicki said. “Alexis, thank you for your unwavering support to end local hunger and to feed the children. We love you.”
Alexis graciously accepted the award and shared it with The Resident team.