The final days of the Cash for Kids fundraiser have passed, according to Keith Kentala, advisor to the Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) Board and Cash for Kids chairman. 

“The program was a first of its kind effort to support eight local nutrition programs committed to providing support to children from food insecure homes within the Northland Pines School District,” said Kentala.

Cash for Kids was a collaborative fundraising effort by all the Eagle River financial institutions in support of the Vilas Food Pantry, the Locker, FORK Cares, Meals NOW, the Room, the Weekend Backpack Program, Jump Start and the Emergency Formula Support Program.

“Our first-year goal was to fund the equivalent of 8,000 meals for children through the programs mentioned. Unfortunately, we did not meet that goal. But we did raise enough money to fully fund just over 4,000 meals,” said Perry Pokrandt, president of FORK. 

“While at the same time, the Cash for Kids program allowed us an opportunity to tell a story about a community committed to the health and well-being of children,” said Pokrandt.

“Thank you to those individuals and organizations who donated to this effort and especially thank you to all the financial institutions who stepped up to help make this program possible: mBank, BMO Harris Bank, Nicolet National Bank, Great North Bank, Associated Bank, Peoples State Bank, Incredible Bank and the Ripco Credit Union,” said Kentala. “Together, their efforts have made a difference in the lives of local children.”