MIDDLETOWN, Ky. (January 2004) Mark Metry, owner of Metrys
on Main Jewelry Shoppe, said he is indebted to the community of Middletown
after having hosted a successful frozen turkey drive Dec. 14 for the
Dare to Care Food Bank of Louisville, featuring country
music star Louise Mandrell.
by Don Ward
Mandrell poses with (from left) Ron Wolf of Mayor Jerry Abramson's
office; Middletown Mayor Byron Chapman, and event organizer
Mandrell, of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., appeared for the afternoon outside
Metrys store and signed autographs for people who donated a
Metry said this event has profoundly changed me. Due to
community support and Mandrells persistence, Metry was able
to collect more than 600 frozen turkeys to help feed needy families
this holiday season.
This was an enormously successful event, said Denton Randall, Dare
to Care Director of Development. Randall said Sanderson Farms, distributor
of the Miss Goldy brand of chicken, made a donation of 240 broiling
Donations flooded Metrys, despite certain last-minute obstacles.
Mandrell managed to combat bad weather conditions, driving from Pigeon
Forge the night before to devote her time to this event. She performs
18 shows a week in Pigeon Forge, said Randall, and it was so
wonderful of her to do this.
News coverage of the capture of Sadaam Hussein that morning bumped
publicity of the local event from local TV and radio stations. But
Metry kept his spirits up and his hard work paid off in the end.
He can recount several stories of the generosity of the community.
One man arrived with 50 turkeys in the back of his pickup; another
couple brought 11 turkeys to his store; and one man brought eight
and then went back for four more, said Metry. The local Winn Dixie
sold out of turkeys, and Kroger had only eight left in their frozen
food case by 4 p.m. Some cash donations were also made.
But the emphasis was on turkeys, said Randall. A food box for each
family in need was put together and distributed by the Dare to Care
distribution center in Louisville. Since not all turkeys were of the
same weight, the size of the turkey in a food box matched the size
of the family it would feed. Larger turkeys were given to families
with more members.
It is possible that 1,800 to 2,700 people could be fed from the amount
of turkeys donated, said Metry.
This was a wonderful holiday achievement by Mark, said
Randall, as well as Mandrell and the citizens of Middletown. Metry
is hopeful that this will become an annual holiday event for the community
To kick off the afternoon, Middletown Mayor Byron Chapman presented
Mandrell with a plaque to signify the appreciation of her appearance
there. Several other local dignitaries attended the presentation,
including Ron Wolf, representing Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramsons