Fundraiser to benefit food pantry in Affton

A fundraising effort to benefit the Affton Christian Food Pantry is underway at two local businesses.

Laura Mathews, manager of the Affton Great Clips at 10056 Gravois Road, and Christine Dasher, manager of the Bayless Great Clips at 4253 Bayless Ave., came up with the idea of “The Power of the Flower” fundraiser after meeting with Judy Hantak, vice president of the Affton Christian Food Pantry, to discuss the growing need for food assistance in Affton.

For a cash donation or five canned foods, people can choose a paper flower to add to vases that are hanging in the two stores.

Mathews and Dasher wanted to include the entire community in their project, and enlisted students in Chris Perko’s art classes at Mesnier Elementary School and Mandi Tripoli’s art classes at Rogers Middle School to create paper flowers.

Their efforts were joined by Sunday School students at New Apostolic Church.

Woody Babb of Bayless Junior High brought the entire project together with more flowers and the hand-painted paper vases for each location.

“The flowers and vases were created by the Character Council class of Bayless Junior High School,” Babb stated in a news release. “The class focuses on helping students build leadership skills and encourages community involvement through service.”

The fundraiser will continue through April 15, and in a friendly competition, the store that collects the most donations will celebrate with lunch donated by a friend of the food pantry.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the food pantry, which is an ecumenical non-profit committed to helping families in need in the Affton area. The food pantry, in the St. George Parish Center at 4960 Heege Road, was formed in 2006 by several Affton area churches, and currently serves about 400 families every month.

The pantry provides groceries, including fresh produce, meat, dairy and shelf-stable items, to families who demonstrate a financial need and live in the 63123 area. For more information about the pantry, including making an appointment or donation, visit