Saturday night, at the annual Harvest Festival in Winona, the newspaper staff partnered with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, the Winona Police Department, and SuperValu to raise money for the Marines Toys for Tots to purchase toys for underprivileged children this Christmas.
For many years, Calbrina Woods, founder of Blessings For All Empowered by Faith, has headed up the Marine Toys for Tots program in Carroll, Montgomery, and Grenada counties. More than 2,000 children receive toys during the holiday season thanks to the hard work of Woods, her many volunteers, and generous sponsors. This amazing program brings a lot of smiles to the kids in this area.
When the newspaper staff was planning what kind of booth to host during the Harvest Festival, also organized by Woods and Blessings for All Empowered by Faith, Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Tompkins and Winona Chief of Police Roshaun Daniels agreed to be on the receiving end of a pie toss to raise money for the children. SuperValu’s Eddie Dodd donated eight cases of whipped cream, and the newspaper staff manned the Pie Toss for Tots booth.
Boy, was it popular!
Sheriff Tompkins and Chief Daniels were the target of 125 pies. The kids at the festival had a blast showering the two with pies, and some of the grownups did too – many of them related to Tompkins and Daniels. A member of the Winona Fire Department gave each a pie in the face, but they provided their own service later by hosing the whipped cream off the sidewalk.
In the end, Tompkins and Daniels had whipped cream from head to toe, but they weathered the pie assault with good spirits, a great deal of laughter, and two rolls of paper towels.
Watching these two lawmen pelted with pies, I was struck with this display of community spirit. Every day, Tompkins and Daniels face often dangerous situations as they protect and serve the people of Montgomery County and Winona. However, when it comes to supporting the children of this community, it seems they will do just about anything – even take a pie to the face. Now, that is commitment!
That is a commitment to which we all should aspire, well, maybe without the mess.
Speaking of community spirit, a special thank you goes to Calbrina Woods for the outstanding work she does for the people in Carroll and Montgomery counties and the surrounding area. Not only does she organize the Harvest Festival, Back to School Bash, and Marine Toys for Tots, but she has facilitated the food box giveaways in the region for the past several years as well as the children’s summer feeding program in Montgomery County.
This community is at the heart of Woods and her ministry, and I, for one, am blessed to call her my friend.