JACKSONVILLE — The annual "Mayors United" event to fight hunger will be held Saturday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Jacksonville Bigham Knoll Event Center. The public is invited to join ACCESS and its sponsors for an early evening of tastings from local restaurants, wine and beer samplings, entertainment, live and silent auctions. Event proceeds will go to feed the hungry through the ACCESS Food Share Pantry Network of 25 food pantries.
"Mayors United is a great way to help our neighbors. As mayors, we take pride in helping ACCESS and the food banks within our communities. We encourage Jackson County residents to come out to Mayors United and enjoy great food, wine, beer and more," said Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler.
Tickets are $60 per person, $100 per couple and seating is limited. To purchase tickets, or make a donation to ACCESS, call 541-774-4312 or go online at www.accesshelps.org. For each dollar raised, ACCESS can provide five meals, or approximately 5 pounds of food for local residents experiencing hunger.
"This is an opportunity to have fun, feed the hungry, and meet the mayors of Jackson County," said Jackie Schad, ACCESS executive director.
Some of the participating local businesses are the Arbor House, Elements Tapas, the Jacksonville Inn, Silver Ridge Outfitters, Capers, Cupcake Creations, Punky's Diner, Texas Roadhouse, Central Point Bobbio's Pizza, Prospect Historic Hotel, Valley View and Agate Ridge wineries, Southern Oregon Brewing Co., Umpqua Dairy and Coca-Cola.
Auction items include a Top Gun experience as a guest pilot in a military fighter jet, with a complimentary DVD of the flight; a Trail Blazers package with VIP floor seating for four and dinner at the Rose Room; a helicopter ride for two, with lunch at River's Edge; and an Upper Rogue wine tour for eight. For an updated list of auction items, visit www.accesshelps.org.
Mayors United was created in 2009 to help feed the growing number of hungry residents in Jackson County. ACCESS feeds 3,500 families, or 10,000 individuals, each month, and distributes more than 44,000 food boxes and 2.9 million pounds of emergency food, which works out to 55,000 pounds per week. The number of people seeking food support has increased by more than 7 percent since 2010, and children make up 33 percent of those ACCESS is helping to feed.
As the Community Action Agency of Jackson County, ACCESS has been helping county residents break the cycle of poverty since 1976. With a focus on education, ACCESS helps low-income families and seniors through economic crisis by guiding them through changes in habits to help them become self-sustaining.