KC 101’s 13th annual Stuff-A-Bus, which was held on Nov. 21 and 22, provided food for needy families from all over Connecticut this Thanksgiving with its numerous turkey and nonperishable donations. Many Quinnipiac students volunteered their efforts for the cause.
Stuff-A-Bus, a KC 101 yearly event preceding Thanksgiving, continued its tradition with the collection of over 32 pallets of nonperishables, equivalent to 1.3 tractor-trailers.
Almost 1400 turkeys were also collected, 741 on the first day, and 631 on the second day, exceeding the station’s turkey goal of 1013.
All proceeds were collected by members of the Hamden-based station, along with a handful of eager volunteers, to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank.
The event was held at the base of the Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden.
The event featured Radio personalities Vinnie Penn, Mary Scanlon, Samantha Stevens, Michael Maze, and Kerry Collins.
On-air personality Collins, broadcasting from 6-10 p.m. weeknights on KC 101, was impressed with Stuff-A-Bus’s turnout.
“In my opinion, Stuff-A-Bus is great because it is successful every year,” he said.
Collins says he listened to Stuff-A-Bus broadcasts growing up, and feels that the event is continuing to grow.
“It started out as one bus. That’s attainable; then they made two buses and it kept growing and the community grew with it,” he said.
Nearing the close of the event on Saturday, Pink, a Top-40 pop star, spoke with Michael Maze over the phone to inform listeners of the importance of their donations.
“While you’re stuffing your faces, people are out there starving and cold,” said Pink.
Quinnipiac Network Support Specialist Mike Landry said the amount of donations exceeded that of last year’s, and is leaving volunteers hopeful for its turn out next year.
“It was great to surpass last year’s totals and know that so many people will have food for the holidays,” he said. “I look forward to an increased involvement with Quinnipiac in years to come!”
Landry says he’s grateful to the Quinnipiac community and all who volunteered and donated food for the holidays.
In reference to exceeding last year’s contributions, Quinnipiac student Robert Rasmussen commented on the event.
“It was a nice close to a great event; above and beyond what we had hoped for,” he said.
Rasmussen, labeled ‘Turkey Rob’ at the event, continued with a comment on the impact the donations would have.
“Try to imagine 1372 turkeys and over a tractor-trailer of food,” he said. “Think about how many people we have helped to feed.”
Alpha Phi Omega member and Quinnipiac senior Amanda Mazzola said size is not everything.
“No matter what the amount is, every little bit counts,” said Mazzola.
Wallingford resident Jeremy Walz, a two-year Stuff-A-Bus volunteer, tells why he continues to help the cause.
“It’s the one time of the year that you finally give back to the community that gives so much to you,” he said.
Six-year volunteer, Bob Rasmussen, dubbed “Airline Bob” at Stuff-A-Bus, explained his reasons for joining the Stuff-A-Bus volunteers.
“It’s coming together once a year with people that you probably only see once a year for the common good for the community,” said Rasmussen.
“We used to listen to KC 101 and Glenn Beck who always promoted Stuff-A-Bus,” said Rasmussen. “Like so many other families, we were searching for an outlet to give. So instead of just giving food, we decided to help as well.”
Five year volunteer Kim Mastriano of Meriden, explained her reasons for volunteering as well.
“It’s the spirit that comes along with seeing the same volunteers,” she said. “It’s great to see the same people year after year.”
Eric Hummel, owner of Hummel Brothers Meat Products and 10-year volunteer and major contributor of Stuff-A-Bus, said it is a great way to give back to the community.
“It bothers me that there are people in this country that go without food,” said Hummel. “It took a little bit of effort, but we got to feed a lot of hungry people.”
Hummel volunteered one of his freezer trucks, lunch for volunteers, and his own time to assure the event would run smoothly.
Six-year volunteer and professional wrestler “Bulldog” Bob Blanski spoke of the unity of volunteers.
“People all came from different backgrounds, but we still all believed in one cause,” he said.
Rasmussen remains hopeful for next year.
“We hope to increase our goals next year,” said Rasmussen. “I hope the event will grow with all the friendships and memories.”