The fourth year for an Independence Day event spelled the fourth successful fundraiser for one local charity.
Mary Boyles, executive director of the Shepherd’s House, said proceeds from raffle tickets sold in conjunction with an annual pie-eating contest held by Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies owner Angela Shur had exceeded $9,000 prior to the event beginning Monday.
“I think we are on track to exceed our goal of $10,000,” said Boyles.
That stated, Boyles said once last-minute raffle sales are considered and entry fees for the contest are included, the local homeless shelter should far exceed its goal.
The contest kicked off following Monday’s Independence Day parade, and folks of all ages, from adults to 1- to-4-year-olds tried their hand — or mouth — in the event, cramming pies into their mouths for the cause.
Winners won Visa giftcards ranging from $25 to $50, medals and trophies. All participants also left with a gift-bag.
Shur said she has seen the event grow throughout the four years she has hosted it. This year, at the contest’s new location in the parking lot next to Bark & Meow pet boutique, a record number of participants turned out.
Shur had help as master of ceremonies this year. Television meteorologist Lanie Pope, after serving as a co-grand marshal in the Independence Day parade, helped Shur kick off the first contest.
Boyles said she is always appreciative of a community which supports her organization, noting 15 children and 10 adults are housed at the shelter.
“There are more participants this year than last year,” remarked Shepherd’s House board chairman Mike Bowman. “I feel like we will exceed last year’s earnings.”
Boyles and Bowman said the need is great in the Mount Airy community, and all support is appreciated. This year the shelter has had to turn away 74 people due to a lack of space, illustrating the need for such a facility in the community.
Bowman said one of his board’s objectives is to build a larger structure to accomodate more people in need of the services Shepherd’s House offers. However, the undertaking will have to wait.
“We’ve really turned the corner financially recently, but we aren’t quite there yet,” said Bowman.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.