ABATE to host ‘Adopt a Family Fund Raiser’
By definition abate means to reduce or to lessen the amount of something, which is exactly what the Caloosahatchee Chapter of ABATE of Florida is planning to do with its “Adopt a Family Fund Raiser” on Saturday at Anthony’s On The Boulevard.
Entering its 14th year, Adopt a Family has fed more than 85 families and 170 children during its life span, in an effort to stave off hunger and sadness for a few lucky families in the Cape.
This year ABATE plans on helping eight families during the holiday season, with baskets of food and presents for the kids.
“Times are very hard,” said organizer Kelly Smith. “Everyone is having a rough time and our children should not have to pay the price.”
Starting at 11 a.m., the event features an all-you-can-eat turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, for $5 a person. ABATE is also asking for the community to donate non-perishable food items.
Roughly $800 is spent on each family, according to Smith, as ABATE showers the families during another event on Dec. 20.
On that day, ABATE — which stands for American Bikers Aimed Towards Education — will gather its members at Jaycee Park and personally deliver the food and presents to the families in one gigantic, police-escorted motorcade.
Smith added that anyone is welcome to ride in the gift run, not just members of ABATE.
“We drop off food at the houses,” Smith said. “Big ol’ bikers put presents under the Christmas trees, and the Cape police department donates their time for our escort on their day off. It’s amazing.”
In an ironic twist, Smith will not attend the fund-raiser because her daughter, Ashley, will be graduating from Florida Gulf Coast University with a degree in criminal justice on the same day.
Still, the pleasure of the event for Smith is helping a family in need, buying toys for the kids to bring smiles to their faces on Christmas morning.
“I find out what they want Santa Claus to bring, and I buy what they want,” Smith said.
She stressed though the fund-raiser is a time for people in the community to come out and celebrate, eat and enjoy one another’s company. And maybe donate a little food and money, if possible.
“We’re hoping that people wear their hearts on their sleeves. It’s hard for all of us, but we try to make it nice for the kids,” she said.