By JOSEPH HAMRICK
On its first time entering in the Herald-Banner’s Hunt County Cares and Shares food drive, L-3 Mission Integration made a last-minute donation of 82,858 pounds, giving more than any other organization in Greenville.
A spokesperson for L-3 said it will turn down the first-place prize of a Sunday feature story in the newspaper because of to the large number of employees who work there.
Wally Jeffers, director of Hunt County Shared Ministries (FISH), said L-3 has been invaluable to the success of the drive.
“L-3 is a valuable community partner, and we are very fortunate to have them in our city,” Jeffers said. “The support that this agency has received from L-3 is outstanding and goes above and beyond the call of being a responsible business leader. Our ministry extends our gratitude to the employees of L-3 and its leadership team for these donations.”
The contest began two weeks ago on Sept. 24, and ran through Oct. 12. The total amount donated was 138,504 pounds, which exceeded the goal of 125,000 by more than 10,000 pounds.
Once again with a donation of 29,454 pounds, Authentic Life Fellowship church won the food drive competition.
“We are all excited with what L-3 did,” Jimmy Vaughn, pastor of Authentic Life said. “And we are excited for us. I was not sure if we were going to donate as much this year.”
Vaughn said the church has no set goals for giving, just to give as each person can.
“The challenge is to give our very best to give sacrificially,” he said. “It’s a big thing in todays economy that people give sacrificially.”
Altrusa’s donation of 4,642 pounds of food landed the organization in second place.
Matching its donation last year, the Greenville Fire Department brought by its donation of 3,500 pounds for the drive, sealing a third place finish for the department.
In fourth place was the Lions Club of Greenville with its combined donation of 2,408 pounds of food.
And coming in fifth, with a donation of 2,303 pounds of food, is the Golden Kiwanis of Greenville.
“I am overwhelmed at the generosity of the community,” Lisa Chappell, publisher of Herald-Banner Publications said. “This shows how giving the people of Hunt County are.”
Since beginning the annual food drive in 2005, nearly 400,000 pounds of food has been donated.