Rent Party Garden Garners Local Support and National Attention

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From The South Orange Elks Rent Party:

Photo: Left to right Ritesha Krishnappa, Max Krishnappa, Chris Dickson, Karen Rutberg, Yoda Bob Donnelly, Ron Housley.

The South Orange Elks Rent Party Garden had a pretty special week last week!

First, the Garden was the recipient of a $4,000 Beacon Grant. As Lodge Secretary Yoda Bob Donnelly explained, “The Elks Community Investments Program Grant projects improve the quality of life where Elks live and work. The Beacon Grants assist Lodges with an ongoing Community project. In this case, the South Orange Elks Rent Party Garden”. Donnelly and Lodge Treasurer Ron Housley presented the check to Rent Party founder Chris Dickson and Garden Operations Manager Karen Rutberg. “This grant is proof-positive of the Elks’ longstanding commitment to this Garden and this community,” said Dickson.

In its 11th season, the South Orange Elks Rent Party Garden grows about 2,000 pounds of fresh produce each summer. The produce is donated to local hunger-fighting initiatives including Seth Boyden Shares’ free farmers market. “The Garden really is a magical place and we are very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last 11 seasons,” said Dickson.

The Garden also got the attention of the Elks National Foundation and was featured in their national publication. Click here to read that article. Donnelly said, “We’re just ecstatic to be recognized in this way”. Dickson added that he hoped that the article will serve as an inspiration for other Elks Lodges.

The Garden is always looking for volunteers to help with the harvesting and maintenance. Click here to sign-up. Rent Party Pantry is a 501(c) dedicated to fighting hunger in our community. For more information about Rent Party click here.

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