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‘Fill the van’ food drive to feature live entertainment

By Staff | Oct 29, 2011

Residents will have a chance next weekend to listen to some good music and help a great cause at the first-ever “Bring a Can, Fill the Van” food drive.

The fund-raiser, which benefits the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, will take place Saturday at Anthony’s on the Blvd. The music will kick off at noon, and there were 10 musical acts scheduled to play as of Friday.

Tiffany Hulse, co-organizer of the event and a member of the duo Tiff ‘n’ Zoid, explained that her father bought her a ’73 Volkswagon bus last year.

“We thought, why not use it because people stare at it when we drive down the road,” she said, adding that they decorated the entire outside of the vehicle. “So why not use that to try to draw people in to help other people?”

A few years back, they collected money from family and friends, matched the donations dollar-for-dollar and bought 200 turkeys for the food bank. After hearing of this year’s shortage, they decided to do something again.

“People are starving and we should be doing something,” Hulse said.

“If we can do something, we should be helping them out,” she said.

Hulse explained that although she has never gone hungry on Thanksgiving, her family knows what it is like to starve and they all want to help those in need.

“I know some people who don’t have anything,” she said. “That’s not right.”

People are asked to bring canned, non-perishable food to help fill the bus. Hulse said they do not have a specific goal, but they do want to fill the van. If the bus is overflowing with items, U-Haul offered to donate two small vans.

The event is free, and there will be $1 drafts and Jello shots, along with an all-you-can-eat pig roast for $10. The proceeds will benefit the food bank.

Hulse said event T-shirts also will be on sale for $10 each, and the actual Pillsbury Dough Boy will be on hand for most of the day for some extra fun.

A Chinese auction also is planned. Tickets will sell for $1 each, $5 for six, $10 for an arm’s length and $20 for two arms’ lengths. Participants place their tickets with the items they want and winners are chosen at random.

As of Thursday, the items up for raffle included:

n Two gift baskets from ABC Liquor

n Five $5 gift cards to Bahama Breeze

n Two gift baskets from Bath & Body Works

n Box of cigars from Cape Smoke Shop

n Gift basket from Chiquita Bait & Tackle

n $50 gift card to Twisted Conch

n Gift card for full acrylic set at Profiles

n $50 gift card to Petland

n $20 gift certificate to Stuff-A-Bagel

n Oil change certificates from Pep Boys

n $50 box of chocolates from Norman Love

n Two T-shifts and coupons from Hooters

n Hair dryer from Sally’s Beauty Supply

n $10 gift card to European Baking Company

n Two towing vouchers from Tow Boat

n Two free pizzas from Sal’s Pizza

n $25 gift certificate to The Dek

n $25 gift certificate to Ace Hardware

n Four $50 gift certificates to Marine Trading Post

n Gift basket from Sunoco

Hulse added that several businesses donated cash. As of Friday, they had collected a few hundred dollars in monetary donations from the venues.

Some of the acts scheduled to perform Saturday include Tiff ‘n’ Zoid.

“We’re more of an obscure duo because we’re quite an unlikely duo,” she said, adding that she is 17 while her bandmate is 50 and a family friend.

The Yard Dogs will be playing what they call “Florida swamp music,” while Parrothead Club member Tequila Tom will stick to a Jimmy Buffet style of music. JG Fulks has an unique sound, utilizing a self-built cigar box guitar.

Wisconsin native Jimmy T. will fly down for the event. Hulse said his style is along the lines of Jim Croce, Neil Diamond and John Denver. Local legends Deb and the Dynamics will play, as well as those still with the Skeeterland Band.

Cindy Walsh and Marshell Law, a well-known Pine Island duo, also will perform, along with Calypso Magic, who will entertain on his steel drums and bass.

Hulse said collection boxes for canned, non-perishable food items have been set up at various locations for those who want to help but cannot attend.

“We’re hoping to do it again next year,” she said of the food drive.

Anthony’s on the Blvd. is at 1303 Del Prado Blvd. S.