Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jami Luvfest, Pittsburgh Part 2

I left off in my last post with day 2 in Pittsburgh and our travels as tourists around the city as we waited to surprise Jami at her annual fundraiser for the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Jami Luvfest.  Each year Jami uses her birthday celebration to honor our mother, Billie Marlowe doing what Billie did best-feed people.

Jami Luvfest (in memory of Billie Marlowe)Jami Luvfest Facebook Page

Five years ago the Marlowe family was irrevocably altered. Suddenly, we were adult orphans clinging to each other in our shared grief. This past weekend, we honored our mother and celebrated the best she gave: Me, Wally, Betsy, Connie, Jami... and all the "children" she adopted along the way. You are still missed Billie, but the tears aren't quite as bitter.

The event was held at a very cool venue, 720 Music, Clothing and Cafe in the Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh, They offer a carefully curated mix of vinyl/cd's, indie clothing designers, off beat magazines and books and great tasting coffee, tea and treats. If you are in the area, stop by and say hi to Nate and listen to some very cool tunes.  

But back to Luvfest and the surprise!  We had arranged with Betsy and Wally that we would cab up to Lawrenceville and hide out in a pub a few doors down from the party until the right moment to make our appearance. We got the signal and made our way in the door as MC Marcel was introducing and thanking folks that were involved in the event. And as he was talking about special guests from afar, Jami turned around and spotted us. I think the photo describes the moment better than words can.

And yes, I am crying and Jami is crying and Betsy in the background is crying.  That didn't last too long though because it was a party after all! And it was a great party!! Lots of entertainment including the most awesome Kristen Ross, a performance artist and belly dancer in the Pittsburgh area.

A duet to "I Can't Dance" with Kristen and my brother Marcel....

A great band later in the evening, and most importantly, plenty of generous people donating to the Pittsburgh food bank!

A very successful evening raising a bunch of money to feed the hungry. Local food banks do so much for our communities and the folks that rely on them to survive. For 1 in six Americans hunger is a reality.Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different.

Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.

One of the most common misconceptions is the assumption that if someone is hungry, that means they do not have a job and are living on the streets. What most people don’t understand is that anyone can experience hunger. It is a silent epidemic that affects 49 million Americans.

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010, 21 million people lived in working-poor families. This translates into nearly 9.6 percent of all American families living below 100 percent of poverty have at least one family member working . In fact, 36 percent of client households served by the Feeding America network have one or more adults working.

The hidden nature of hunger and poverty makes us less aware of its prevalence in the suburbs, but hunger does exist in the suburbs and it is growing.

The growth in poverty and hunger in the suburbs is caused by the lure of job growth, the revitalization of central cities making city life too expensive for many poor people, and the creation of cheaper housing in "inner ring" suburbs, as middle class people move further out.

The problem of childhood hunger is not simply a moral issue. Child hunger hampers a young person's ability to learn and becomes more likely to suffer from poverty as an adult. Scientific evidence suggests that hungry children are less likely to become productive citizens

So become involved with your local food bank, their buying power allows a $1.00 donation provides from 5 to 15 pounds of food. So donate or volunteer at your local food bank. A great source of information is
Feeding America . A one stop informational and organizational page that will give you the facts on hunger in America and how you can help. With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 3 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually. One $25.00 donation to Feeding America will provide 200 meals. 

So as you plan your holiday feasts this season, think of those in need and make a donation. Your turkey dinner will taste that much better!

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