Shop ’til you drop: Annual charity event raises thousands in grocery, cash donations
Customers at City Market may have been a bit confused Wednesday morning as several local Realtors ran throughout the store while wearing quirky costumes and quickly scooping up grocery items.
But the event, the sixth annual Shop Off, was all for a generous cause.
The Grand County Board of Realtors hosted the event early Wednesday morning in Granby, where the organization’s members were invited to buy groceries for Mountain Family Center in Granby. Fourteen local Realtors collected non-perishable and household items, donning colorful and often humorous costumes. It was a competition to see who could gather the most groceries in the allotted time period.
Funds were raised prior to the event, which were then used to purchase the groceries collected by each team. Any leftover dollars would be donated, in cash, to Mountain Family Center, along with all the groceries.
This year, seven teams of two raised over $6,100.
“There was a lot of energy,” said Deb Brynoff, executive director of the Grand County Board of Realtors. “I think it brings awareness to the needs of the community and it’s a fun event. (…) Everybody had a great time and was enthusiastic, so overall it was a lot of fun.”
Brynoff said they don’t set a specific monetary goal to meet, but instead try to raise as much money as they can by matching or exceeding what was raised in previous years.
Helen Sedlar, executive director of Mountain Family Center, said the Shop Off helps maintain the center’s food pantry during a time of year when more people depend on it but fewer donations are being made.
“It definitely stocks our pantry shelves at a time of year, during mud season, when our can drives are at a lull, so it helps offset when our pantry shelves are starting to empty out,” Sedlar said. “This is just a wonderful gift that they really pull their resources for us to really put some much needed groceries on the shelves this time of year.”
According to Sedlar, it costs her organization $3,000 to $4,500 a month to stock the food pantry, so any cash donations they receive from the Shop Off supplements their food pantry budget.
“The remainder will cover our groceries for May from the Food Bank of the Rockies,” Sedlar said. “It just continues to build awareness around the food insecurity we have in Grand County.”
Teams also competed to raise the most money, gather the most groceries and wear the best costume. This year, the team that collected the most money was Carrie Flynn and Skylar Marshall from Real Estate of Winter Park with $2,000.
Abbie Wilkes, from Changes Thrift Store, and Angela Rindels, a mortgage broker, won for collecting the most items in their cart. Shea Murphy and Tim Myers from Re/Max Peak to Peak took home the award for best costume thanks to their chicken and butcher partner outfits.
Other teams included Libby Hemme and Terry Sidell from Mountain Family Center; Rebecca Guthrie and Amber Lemon from Re/Max Red; Carrie George and Brenda Kellen from Keller Williams Top of the Rockies Real Estate; and Kristie DeLay, from NextHome Choice, and Brynoff.
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Kacey Green, a rancher in Moffat County, doesn’t buy her beef at the grocery store.