Every year between November 1st and December 31st, Gowrie Group, Connecticut’s largest independent insurance agency, challenges their local community of businesses and friends to team together to raise money to benefit SSKP. This year, Gowrie Group has set an ambitious goal of raising $200,000 for the SSKP through their annual challenge.
Gowrie Group is launching this year’s annual Challenge with a $30,000 matching gift. Five local companies have stepped forward as Partner Sponsors: LC Doane Company, Tower Labs, BrandTech, Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale, and Sound Rigging Services. Together, the partner sponsors will provide an additional $25,000 in matching funds.
Gowrie Group believes strongly in giving back to the local community and is committed to help end hunger along the Connecticut shoreline. This belief has led Gowrie Group to focus their charitable giving on supporting The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries every year since 2004. Since the Gowrie Challenge began 14 years ago, more than $1,500,000 has been raised to benefit the SSKP.
Last year, the SSKP distributed enough food for over one million meals, through five pantries and nine hot meal sites, to people in need in the towns of Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Essex, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Lyme, Deep River, Chester, and Killingworth. Over 8,000 of our neighbors in need registered at food pantries last year, and this year’s need is just as high. The 2018 ALICE Report* showed that one in three (30%) Connecticut residents struggle to meet their family’s basic needs each month. ALICE stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed, which is defined as individuals or families who have earnings above the federal poverty level, but below basic cost-of-living threshold.
Ed Gumbrecht, President of Gowrie Group said, “Each year our colleagues at Gowrie, our friends on the shoreline, and our area business leaders respond with generosity to this essential cause. This year the challenge is as great as ever! We’re committed to help SSKP feed our neighbors in need.”
Ellen Rabin, Executive Director of SSKP said, “The Gowrie Challenge is a vital part of the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries Annual Appeal to the community. The funds raised by Gowrie’s corporate campaign go directly towards purchasing food for the 5 local pantries. I am grateful to live along the Connecticut Shore where we are proud to extend a hand and help our neighbors. Thank you to Gowrie Group and all those who respond to our request for support.”
Throughout the year, Gowrie Group and its employees donate time and services to soup kitchens and pantries across New England. Each summer, Gowrie employees prepare and serve a lunch at the SSKP meal site in Old Saybrook. In addition, employees work together to plan and host food drives every holiday season at many of Gowrie Group’s locations including Westbrook CT, Darien CT, Newport RI, Marshfield MA, Annapolis MD and Manchester NH. This year’s food drive, Gowrie Group will be hosting a “Holiday Cereal Drive” focused on both kid-friendly and adult breakfast cereals. Many employees and their families also volunteer at their local food pantries and meal service locations across the region.
Ways You Can Help Support the Gowrie Challenge:
1. Donate to the Gowrie Annual Challenge: Donations can be made online at www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org – Click the “Donate Now” button (designate “Gowrie Challenge”), or by mail to The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, Attn: Gowrie Group Challenge, P.O. Box 804, Essex, Connecticut, 06426.
2. Attend the Black Friday Benefit Concert at The Kate: Friday November 23rd at 8PM at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Tickets are $25** and are available online at www.thekate.org, or by calling the Box Office at 860.510.0453.
3. Attend the Dancing to End Hunger Performance: “Ahavah: Story of Christmas,” Dec 1st and 2nd at The Morgan School in Clinton (proceeds benefit the Gowrie Challenge).