Franklin Countys First News

Gerry Wiles Holiday Food Basket provides meals for more than 100 families

In the back row, left to right, is Kent Wiles; Lee Nile and Becky Maxim, both members of the Holiday Basket Committee; and Chamber Executive Director Trisha Mosher. In the front row is Roma Wiles and Shannon Smith, the chair of the Holiday Basket Committee.

FARMINGTON - Boxes filled with all of the fixings for a festive holiday meal were stacked outside the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce office Friday morning, waiting delivery to grateful families throughout Franklin County.

The annual Gerry Wiles Holiday Food Basket program is organized by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. For the past nine years, the longstanding food drive has been named in honor of Gerry Wiles, a local resident well known for his charitable work within the community. Funds raised by Chamber members and other partners, organized by a committee of board members, are used to purchase frozen turkeys and other ingredients to make a traditional holiday feast. Those food baskets - actually cardboard boxes - are then either picked up or delivered across the region.

Holiday Basket Committee Chair Shannon Smith works hard to honor as many meal applications as possible. This year, she said, fundraising numbers were down by roughly one-third - not totally unexpected after the Sept. 16 explosion led to a series of local campaigns - while demand was up roughly 50 percent. Organizers focused on Franklin County; applications were submitted on behalf of people that ranged from infants to a 98-year-old resident.

In total, the basket program will benefit 537 people in more than 100 families, Smith said. "Were just incredibly grateful for everyone who donated," she said. "It's a wonderful program."

Contributing businesses, individuals and organizations include: Wilton Blueberry Festival, County Seat Realty, United Insurance Shiretown Agency, Mainestone Jewelry, Town of Carthage, IEC, Inc., Walmart, Bee Line Cable, Franklin-Somerset FCU, Trisha Mosher, Longfellow's Restaurant, Senior Planning Center, Skowhegan Savings Bank, Main-land Development Consultants, Inc., E.L. Vining, Chrissy St. Laurent, Franklin Community Health Network, Otis Federal Credit Union, Meldrum Design, Sandy River Center/Genesis HealthCare HC, Lisa Berry All 4 on the Floor, End of the Rainbow Alternatives, Scott & Mary Morrison, Reny's, Steve and Cheryl Bunker, Franklin Savings Bank, Rhonda Wiles-Rosell, Adam Wiles-Rosell & Kate Burdick, Food City, Greg & Sarah Patterson, LEAP, Darryl Wood, Miriam Leonard, Randy Keach Auto, Rob Eilliot Excavation & Trucking, Calzolaio Pasta Co., Adam Vigue, Franklin Somerset FCU, Dreamin' Fahm, FMH Gift Shop, Homestead Kitchen, Sarah Judd, Russell Black, Sarah Judd, Patricia Ridley, Ann Crafts, William Leighton Jr., Pam Dixon, Rupert & Sue Pratt, Daniel Patterson, Bob & Judy Burdick, Mixed Up Kitchen, Robin's Flower Pot and the Wiles Family.

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1 Responses »

  1. So wonderful!