KC 101, a Hamden-based Clear Channel Top-40 radio station, is hosting its 13th annual Stuff-A-Bus to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank. The event will be held in the Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot, located at 2100 Dixwell Ave, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21 and 22.
Stuff-A-Bus, founded in 1991 by former KC101 disc jockey Glenn Beck, was started with the goal in mind of filling a school bus with donated food items to benefit those in need.
In its first year, SAB could barely fill one bus, but has now expanded to fill a tractor trailer of non-perishables, as well as a full commercial truck of frozen turkeys.
In 1999, donations reached the $1 million mark, and raised over 4,000 frozen turkeys. Throughout its 13 years, all of Stuff-A-Bus’s proceeds have assisted the Connecticut Food Bank in helping the less fortunate year round.
Connecticut Food Bank Marketing Coordinator Melissa Nicholson, comments on Stuff-A-Bus’s ongoing charitable involvement with the organization:
“Stuff-A-Bus is currently the longest running drive the CT Food Bank has ever had.”
Nicholson went on to say that every $1 donated provides up to $6.66 in wholesale value of food, and every 1.3 pounds of food provides one meal.
Together, the Food Bank and KC 101 are asking for donations of non-perishable food items, including pasta, canned goods, cereals, juices, sodas, peanut butter, tuna and baby food, and frozen turkeys. Monetary donations are also strongly encouraged.
For those unable to attend the event, items can be dropped off at Quinnipiac’s Hill 31B from the hours of 4:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. Mondays, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. Thursdays, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Fridays, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Vinnie Penn, of the KC 101 morning show with Vinnie Penn & Mary Scanlon,
describes his feelings on the event.
“For me, this event is like the official start of the Christmas season. When this event rolls around, I know Christmas is coming,” said Penn. “During this time of year, it’s really amazing to see people come donate and hand checks to the food bank.”
Penn then joked about the advantages of charity. “There’s always hot women who donate to charity. I like charity.”
Amused with Penn’s comments, Mary Scanlon, co-host of the morning show, gave her opinions of the event.
“It’s amazing that in this wealthy state, the Connecticut Food Bank still services 250,000 families each year. In knowing that so many people go without, it’s nice to know that everyone can help…it doesn’t cost much to go get one turkey.”
KC 101 sets its goal for 1013 turkeys to represent the station’s call numbers; 101.3 FM, and remains hopeful that they will exceed that goal this year.
Radio personalities Vinnie Penn, Mary Scanlon, Samantha Stevens, Kerry Collins, Tucker, Jimmy Caplan and Brandi Scott will kick off SAB with a live broadcast that will continue throughout the entire event.
Erik Manser, 2002 Quinnipiac graduate and current on-air personality Erik Sweet at KC 101, says it is events like Stuff-A-Bus that set Connecticut stations apart from the rest.
“I’m originally from Massachusetts, and radio stations there never did anything this good-hearted for charity,” said Manser. “An event like this is what makes me glad that I stayed here after college instead of moving back home.”
Robert Rasmussen, a sophomore IDD major at Quinnipiac University and 7-year ‘veteran’ of Stuff-A-Bus, commends the event.
“This is, by far, the greatest charity event the state of Connecticut has ever seen, and I think the fact that this has run for 13 years speaks for itself.”
Rasmussen, the first to arrive at 4 a.m. and remaining at the event until every last volunteer has left, performs such tasks as making advertisements to spread the news of Stuff-A-Bus’s arrival, collecting donations and planning several aspects of the event.
Rasmussen says any who wish to volunteer at Stuff-A-Bus can aid in greeting donators, collecting and sorting donated items, loading up the turkey truck, and help to spread the spirit of giving.
Mike Landry, 2003 graduate and current Network Support Specialist at Quinnipiac University, stresses the importance of QU students volunteering.
“We really need the assistance of large partners such as Quinnipiac to help the needy.”
Landry commends contributors for their past involvement in Stuff-A-Bus.
“There are a great number of major supporters. The foremost has to be Hummel Brothers Meat Products.”
Landry says Eric Hummel, owner of Hummel Brothers Meat P)oducts, spends the entire weekend helping out at Stuff-A-Bus and has continuously donated his refrigerator trucks to keep the turkeys cold for days at a time.
Other contributors have included limo companies, bus companies, and construction companies’ dump trucks that arrive filled with food and donations to aid the Food Bank.
Landry comments on the many donations given during Stuff-A-Bus.
“I think some of the greatest displays of charity I’ve ever seen have occurred at Stuff-A-Bus. There are many people who come by and drop off a turkey or bag of canned goods, and you can tell these people are not exactly rich themselves,” said Landry “Often they look like they don’t have the money to spare, and yet they come to SAB and give. To some of us, that means more than some of the larger donations from companies.”
Lindsay D’Ambra, a senior at Quinnipiac University and a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, says she is excited to be part of the event.
“As a first-time participant, I am really looking forward to participating in SAB,” said D’Ambra. “It’s a great event that involves the whole community; now its reaching out to Quinnipiac University.”
Bulldog ‘Bob’ Blanski, 10-year professional wrestler and 6-year participant of Stuff-A-Bus, says he was inspired to volunteer by the enthusiasm of Glenn Beck.
“I really found all the good of Stuff-A-Bus through Glenn Beck; he was just so passionate about it.”
Blanski, also a former Wrestling coach at Branford and East Haven High schools, describes volunteering at SAB as a 2-fold situation.
“On the one hand, we’re helping the Food Bank to deliver food to needy families, and on the other hand, we’re experiencing the enjoyment that comes from helping other people.”