Bad Weather Braved for Good Deeds Day

by Bryan Everson

The people of Rochester did their part on Good Deeds Day last Sunday, even when Mother Nature wasn’t of much help.

Despite the snow, many embarked for the Rochester Fire Department to donate non-perishable items for the Rochester Community House food pantry and Benny’s Kitchen, (RCH’s) pet care pantry.

In total, over 2,200 non-perishable food items and pet items were donated in what was the second year of the event, organized by Rochester’s Downtown Development Authority.

“I think a lot of people anticipated the snow and were trying to get down here,” said DDA executive director Kristi Trevarrow. “We were packed until noon.”

Employees from the Royal Park Hotel were some of the biggest donors. After taking up a collection from workers, a pick-up truck arrived Sunday with around $600 worth of items.

Items were then transported by Rochester firefighters to the RCH pantry, which offers emergency food for low-income families in Rochester, Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills.

It’s what the community is about, supporting everyone,” Rochester Fire Chief John Cieslik said. For the people to come out on such a snowy day was nice. A great amount of food for people and pets were donated.”

“What we try to do from a fire department standpoint is to be a part of the community. We were really happy to support it along with the Rochester Police Department and the DDA. Kristi did a great job coordinating it. She was kind of the maestro and we were the instrument to get this done.”

Kids who tagged along with their parents were also in on the festivities, given a chance to explore the fire trucks and ambulances by firefighters inside the building, which underwent major renovations in 2015 to update the station’s interior and exterior, and increase its size.

Last year, the DDA worked with a program of the Rochester Area Neighborhood House to help donate over 570 birthday gifts that would go to children who may not otherwise receive any.