10/22/2014

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Tieton artist wins $5k prize in national contest; will go to local food bank

Tieton artist wins $5k prize in national contest; will go to local food bank
TIETON, Wash. -- It's the time of year when many people try to be as selfless as possible.

"Thanksgiving you always want to think, you know, 'how can I give? How can I help," Karen Quint said.

Karen is a dedicated volunteer and donator at the Highland Food Bank in Tieton.

It's open from 8 to 10 every Saturday. Volunteers spend the week filling boxes with fresh food, canned goods, even book and toiletries.

For the two hours they're open, volunteers hand out a box-a-minute to families. In the past year-and-a-half the amount of people that show up for food has tripled.

"This is the absolute nicest place to be on a Saturday morning. It's so rewarding to see all the happy faces that come in here," Karen said.

The food bank is growing in size and numbers. However, chairs Bill and Sylvia Rossow say they're still in need. Their personal twenty-year-old truck they use to pick up donations is a gas-guzzler that's too small and on its last leg.

"This truck is costing us more money than it should," Bill said.

Bill says they've been trying to find the means to get a new truck for a while...and now they've got it.

A well-known Tieton artist, Faye Jones, created a hand-blown candle for the high-end Seattle-based company, Glassybaby.

Her candle was entered in a contest: whoever receives the most votes online wins 5-thousand dollars.

Faye's unique candle, with her signature rabbit imprint, won.

Faye designated the Highland Food bank as the charity she'll give the money to.

"We need volunteers, we need the funds and this is perfect timing," Karen said.

Food bank volunteers say they'll use the money toward a new covered-truck or van. It will allow them to make trips more easily and they'll save on gas.

Neighbors are taking notice of the little food bank that's making a big difference.

"It makes everybody feel better about a small town and, you know, being able to have an instant impact," Claudia Vernia said.

Bill says he hopes that impact will grow even larger with some bigger and better wheels.

"I just want to help people. And I am retired and I have the time," Bill said.
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