New Elkhorn Food Pantry to open in old antique store
If you go
What: Elkhorn Pantry picnic buffet fundraiser
Where: The Monte Carlo Room in Elkhorn
When: 6 p.m. today
Cost: $25 at door
Silent auction: Bid on more than 80 items until 9 p.m.
To learn more: For more information about the pantry or to learn how to vote for the pantry in the Pepsi Challenge, visit elkhornfoodpantry.org.
ELKHORN A former downtown antiques store is scheduled to reopen in September as the new Elkhorn Food Pantry.
When compared to the old pantry, the new shop at 14 W. Geneva St. will be handicapped accessible, have more space and let the sun pour in, said Laura Dober Yurs, a volunteer fundraiser for the project.
The pantry now is in the basement of St. John's Lutheran Church, 104 S. Broad St. Clients and workers must walk down a flight of stairs to enter the undersized and under lit pantry, Dober Yurs said.
Supporters have a "bare-bones" budget of $40,000 to renovate the former Powell Antiques Shop into a new food pantry, Dober Yurs said.
"There are no frills," she said.
Last year, the pantry served almost 4,200 people from nearly 1,600 households, she said. Elkhorn's population is 10,084, according to latest census figures.
The project has raised more than $15,000. A recent fundraiser through the mail brought in $9,000. A July 8 silent auction at People's Bank in Elkhorn netted close to $4,000, and Pentair in Delavan donated $2,500.
"The money was enough to get started," she said.
The next fundraiser is tonight at the Monte Carlo Room in Elkhorn.
Frank Raidl is in charge of building restoration.
A new exterior wall had to be built and sided after a foundation and footings were poured, he said. The entire building will be insulated and new electrical service added.
Other work included new windows and doors. A new roof is needed, along with volunteers to tear off the old roof, Raidl said. Plans call to grade the parking lot when money becomes available.
Interior walls, freezers and a counter must be installed, he said.
"We've had quite a few materials and time donated to the project," Dober Yurs said.
A dozen churches and the Elkhorn Women's Club support the pantry, she said.
The building is owned by First Congregational-United Church of Christ, 76 S. Wisconsin St. It is renting the site to the pantry for $1 a year.
The pantry will fix up the site.
"It is in bad disrepair," Dober Yurs said. "It's a win-win for everyone."
The pantry has entered the Pepsi Challenge Grant contest. All of the 10 winners get $50,000.
"If we won the $50,000, we'd be done with fundraising, but we have to get people to vote," she said.