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The Snowflake Gala benefiting Knox County Food for the Hungry, now an annual event sponsored by Kenyon College, was created in 2011.
In the nine years since, the Snowflake Gala has raised a total (net of expenses) of almost $700,000, in support of Food for the Hungry’s food and counseling programs, which are offered through Interchurch Social Services and the Salvation Army, and other food initiatives.
The gala, which takes place in early December, consists of a dinner of local foods prepared by the AVI Foodsystems staff; a program featuring audiovisual presentations as well as remarks by Food for the Hungry supporters and beneficiaries; and an auction, which is primarily of the “fund-a-cause” variety. This year it will be different, it will be strictly online.
A highlight of each year’s program is the bestowal of the William A. Stroud Jr. Award for Community Service, named for long-time Knox County resident and community leader Bill Stroud, a retired president and chairman of First-Knox National Bank. In addition to serving as a Kenyon College trustee and board chairman, Bill was a member of the boards of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, the Mount Vernon/Knox County Community Trust (now the Knox County Foundation), 4-H, the Knox County Symphony, and the Knox County Chamber of Commerce. He was also elected to the Federal Reserve Board of Cleveland.
Numerous local businesses have been consistent supporters of the Snowflake Gala with in-kind contributions. Among them are AVI Foodsystems, Event Source Party and Equipment Rentals, Kenyon College, the Kenyon Inn, Printing Arts Press, and Trophies Unlimited. Consistent supporters also include a long list of individuals and families.