7th annual Chester Gras continues support for backpack program

The heated tent near The Peoples Bank is filled with festival-goers tasting gumbo from area restaurants during Chester Gras 2019.

CHESTERTOWN — The 2020 edition of what organizers have described as Chestertown’s “mini Mardi Gras celebration” is set for Saturday, Feb. 22.

Proceeds from the annual Chester Gras, which made its debut seven years ago, assist local backpack programs.

It is estimated that more than 420 school children from Kent County and Sudlersville who live in homes with food insecurity benefit from the backpack program, according to a news release. They are sent home on Fridays with nutritious meals and snacks for the weekend, when school breakfasts and lunches are not available.

Community members are being asked to step forward as supporters and sponsors. The goal is to exceed last year’s proceeds that topped $10,000.

Supporters at the $100 and above level, whose donation is received by Feb. 1, will be given 10 free tickets to be used at the event for food, beverage and face painting.

Donations from sponsors are used to cover the major overhead expenses, including but not limited to music, tent, heaters and advertising.

Sponsors give at the $250 and above level. Anyone who donates before Feb. 1 will receive 20 free tickets to be used for food, beverage and face painting.

Any donor at the $500 and above level will be recognized on banners and any advertising that is placed after the donation is received.

Tax-deductible checks should be made payable to the Backpack Program and mailed c/o The Peoples Bank, P.O. Box 210, Chestertown, MD 21620.

For more information, contact Rachel Perry, backpack program coordinator for the Kent County Food Pantry board, at 410-810-3949 or foodpantry@atlanticbb.net. You also can contact Ralph Dowling, CEO and president of The Peoples Bank, at 410-778-3500.

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