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Members of the Atlanta Apartment Association (AAA) know a thing or two about tackling hunger. For the past 27 years, they’ve made the cause a top priority through their annual Food-A-Thon to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Donations are delivered every October in a festive parade that wraps around a city block. This year, this amazing organization raised $1.1 million and 105,000 pounds of food--enough for 6.68 million meals!
“I am always in awe of what they accomplish. You would be hard pressed to find anything quite like the Food-A-Thon,” said ACFB Executive Director Bill Bolling. “This thing has grown to mind-blowing levels. Over a million dollars? That’s just astounding.” The food will reach hungry people through 600 ACFB partner agencies in 29 counties.
The numbers speak volumes about the association’s level of commitment. How they achieve those numbers is another thing altogether. One ingredient to their success is a level of competition between apartment owner groups that could be described as fierce, yet friendly. The other ingredient is simple -- they make it fun. Each year, the association chooses a theme and the participants go all out. This years theme: “So You Think You CAN Dance?”
Stonemark Management President Walt Lamperski was in character as John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” when he spoke to us about his participation in Food-A-Thon. “The theme is always something fun. I’ve dressed up as Robin from ‘Batman and Robin.’ I’ve dressed like a hippie,” said Lamperski. “This is when I say I love my job. I block the day in my calendar months in advance so I don’t ever miss this event.” Lamperski was especially happy this year because his daughter was able to join him.
“My dad’s been telling me great things about Food-A-Thon. Every year I’d see him leaving in his costume and think what is he doing? Now I understand,” said Katie Lamperski, who is now an employee with First Communities, a competitor of her father’s company. “It’s way more than I expected. I’m shocked by the number of people here donating cans and dollars.”
Another Food-A-Thon first-timer was newly appointed Atlanta Apartment Association President, Jim Fowler. “This is totally unbelievable,” said Fowler. “Everyone is all into the cause which is what I find so rewarding.” We welcome Fowler and look forward to many more years of experiencing the rewards of Food-A-Thon with him. Of course, the biggest rewards will go to those who will receive healthy meals because of the Atlanta Apartment Association.