Wednesday is the 28th annual brown bag lunch fundraiser for Stop Child Abuse and Neglect.
The nonprofit's mission is to eliminate abuse and neglect of children through family services, education and community partnerships. Its services are available in Allen County and 18 other northern Indiana counties. More then 18,000 children and adults received help through SCAN in 2012.
As of Tuesday all 2,800 pasta lunches of Casaburo salads had been sold. Volunteers from around Fort Wayne gathered Tuesday afternoon to begin packaging the lunches. They were separating the rolls into individual portions. From lunch sales alone this year SCAN will be making $27,000.
“We may exceed that number because several people who called too late to get a lunch are donating the money,” said Jennifer L. Boen, communications manager for SCAN.
Boen said SCAN is always grateful for the time and effort Casa Ristoranti donates to its cause. This year Casa donated 1,000 pounds of Casaburo salad, 800 pounds of pasta, and the 300 pounds of ground beef to be made into meatballs along with six hours of staff time to roll them out.
“They start preparing for this weeks in advance,” Boen said
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, Boen said 100 people from the community would donate their time to the cause. Boen said this event takes the largest number of volunteers of any of SCAN's fundraising events to pull off.
Volunteer Carol Wells was supervising packing the rolls during the setup for the fundraiser Tuesday afternoon at the Fort Wayne Masonic Temple downtown. This is the second year the Lincoln Financial employee has helped with the pre-lunch setup. For the past 23 years she has volunteered on the day of event. Wells said she enjoys volunteering for SCAN's and even worked at SCAN as a full-time volunteer in the past.
The lunch is the third largest annual fundraiser event for SCAN. Its largest is the annual Duck Race, scheduled this year for June 15, which raises around $155,000. Every fall its holds an annual gala event that raises around $80,000-$100,000.
The brown bag event used to be held for Daybreak Crisis Homes, which was run by Park Center. When SCAN took over Daybreak in 2004 it kept the brown bag fundraiser. The funding still goes for Daybreak services.
“Although we no longer have the residential treatment program, it goes to crisis care to children whose families are facing homelessness, domestic violence and short-term care up to six days,” Boen said.
The money is also used for funding other prevention services such as Healthy Families and the family restoration program.
“Three to four years ago we lost $2.4 million in funding for the Healthy Families program,” Boen said.
SCAN has recovered some of that funding in the last year from the state, but not all of it. Boen said all of SCAN's fundraisers are essential to fund the services it provides to the community.