The 7th Annual Denny Ryan Hunger Hike will be held on Wednesday evening, Oct. 7, throughout the city of Albia. A brief gathering will be held at 6:45 p.m. at the bandstand on the courthouse lawn, and then the collection of cash donations and food items will take place from 7-8 p.m.

Each year on the first Wednesday in October high school students and parents from St. Mary’s Albia (including students from Georgetown and Lovilia) collect needed items and funds for the holiday baskets that will be provided by Monroe County Helping Hands Center in Albia for Christmas. They will also accept items to help stock the pantry as fall and winter close in.

There will be some modifications with this year’s event due to the COVID restrictions. The base station will be the west side of the courthouse square. After a brief gathering, high school students and their parents will scatter to Albia neighborhoods to pick up sacks or boxes of items that can be left on porches or brought to your door.

Please turn on your porch light if you have items to donate as the participants will only stop at houses with that special signal. Those approaching porches or doors will wear a mask and a special lapel button in memory of Denny.

Another addition is that some parents and students will stay next to two pick-up trucks on the west side of the square for people who prefer to bring their items or cash donations there, which gives an opportunity for our country folk to take part in the collection. The participants who have gone out into the neighborhoods will return to fill up the beds of the trucks with collected items.

Specific items needed for the baskets include:

• Monetary donations to help buy the meat items. Checks should be made out to Helping Hands.

• Cake mixes

• Canned frosting

• Jell-O

• Canned green beans

• Canned corn

• Canned fruit cocktail

• Canned cranberries

Denny Ryan was a longtime board member of the Helping Hands Center and would volunteer a great deal of time and energy each fall into making sure all was in order to distribute the baskets. He was at Helping Hands when stricken with a heart attack. Following his sudden death, the students and parents decided to “fill the boots” Denny walked in his efforts, and conduct this annual food drive in his memory.

If anyone is unable to bring donations to the trucks on the evening of the walk, those living outside the city limits of Albia can bring items and donations to St. Mary’s Church any time before 3 p.m., on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Last year Monroe County Helping Hands supplied 220 baskets. Any surplus items will help stock the shelves at the center for the winter months.

With any questions, call Sharon Crall @ 641-799-0071.

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