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‘Got Green?’ Combines Food, Fun and Help for Lakewood’s Neediest Residents

Lakewood Community Services Center will host its third-annual fundraiser at the community garden in Madison Park this Friday.

Some things never change.

The annual Got Green? fundraiser is about folks enjoying delicious food, music and neighbors helping out their neighbors.

Hosted by the , the event is set to take place at ’s community garden from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday.

This year, celebrity chef 
Steve Schimoler, of the award-winning Crop Bar and Bistro, will serve up the gourmet food.

The goal is to raise money for LCSC’s client programs and services. The organization is providing emergency food and homeless prevention assistance to more than 9,000 Lakewood residents “who need us more than ever before.”

LCSC, marking its 30th year in the community, has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of people needing assistance during the past year. The center now provides food to more than 14 percent of the city’s population.

Unemployment has played a role, but Trish Rooney, LCSC’s executive director, why the need keeps growing.

“People are on fixed income,” she said. “It’s the horrendous rising cost of food. If you were on Social Security, you used to be able to feed yourself. People are constantly making trade-offs. Do I pay my gas bill, electric bill or pay for food? That’s what’s happening.” 

The Got Green? event helps lighten the load for the city’s neediest residents. 

The fundraiser will also feature live music. Blues artist and Lakewood native Kristine Jackson, who opened for B.B. King at The House of Blues in Cleveland — at King’s request — will perform at Friday's event. Jackson donates a portion of her contract to the LCSC.

To purchase event and raffle tickets, click here.  

Special guests this year include the staff and students of the .

Partnering with the schools 

The schools are being recognized at the event for the students’ and staff’s volunteer efforts at the community garden — a partnership that began in 2009. 

  • Trades instructor Mike Dow and his students are the folks responsible for building the garden fence using repurposed bleacher wood donated by the city. 
  • horticulture teacher Mark Rathge rallied his students to help grow tomatoes, peppers and eggplants at the garden.
  • In addition, the students in the culinary department volunteer their time each year to help the celebrity chef at the annual event.
  • Art students from the high school chipped in to paint rain barrels, an effort to save water — and keep the space beautiful. 
  • Lastly, students from the high school and West Shore Tech belonging to the Help to Others and the Action Team programs partnered with LCSC to deliver groceries to Lakewood seniors.

“The garden is all about community pulling together, and this event is all about community pulling together,” Rooney said last year.

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