About 700 to 800 people attended and/or donated to the Fill the Boats with Love fundraiser at Brady’s Sunday, April 24 from noon to 5 p.m. Three boats, one each for Boothbay Region Food Pantry, the Clothing Closet at Boothbay Region Elementary School, and Midcoast Humane were deck side at the popular East Side restaurant. By the end of the event, all three beneficiaries were feeling the love.
Boothbay Region High School sophomore Suzie Edwards of Boothbay started the event when she was 9. And, except for COVID years 2020 and 2021, it has been an annual event, a highly successful one.
“This year, most of the donations were given for the BRES clothing closet,” Edwards said. “There were people who put in five and six bags at a time. We brought the bags of clothes to the school on Monday and gave them to Principal Shawna Kerr.”
Edwards is on Brady’s waitstaff and was working during the fundraiser. “We were offering the full menu, but there were so many people ordering food that we had to shut down the kitchen at 2:00!”
Said Brady’s owner Jen Mitchell, “Yeah, I had to close the kitchen. We had just one cook on (two others called out) and he would have been cooking til 9 – and he would have done it with a smile. It turned into a summer-like day, the deck was full, inside it was full ... many people came who weren’t associated with the fundraiser, it was such a nice day. When they found out what was happening they all made donations. It was awesome.”
Edwards’ dad Steve Edwards is her right hand man during the weeks preparing for the fundraiser, seeking and gathering raffle items. The day before the event, he collected another 30 donations. He said more arrived throughout the five-hour fundraiser, some for the boats and others for the raffles.
“Just under 300 pounds of food was donated to the Food Pantry and a little under $1,000 in cash,” he said. “Fleet Davies was at the event and brought the food to the pantry on Monday. Midcoast Humane received just under ($1,000), too. Tammy Walsh was there to accept the cash and all food, toys and other things for the animals.”
On behalf of the food pantry, Davies expressed its gratitude for being included in the charity event and thanked Suzie Edwards and Mitchell, and the community. “Tables both inside and outside were filled and the three boats rapidly accumulated donations. We are grateful for the generosity from all who attended. We received a lot of help for our peninsula families. Thank you all!”
Kate Griffith, based at the Edgecomb location of Midcoast Humane, echoed Davies’ sentiment. “We received so many supplies! Dog and cat food, litter, toys, treats, even a nice dog bed. Right now, between our two locations (the other, in Brunswick) we have 181 animals and kitten season is approaching; we’ll need a lot of food. It’s emotional work, spending time with the animals, getting to know and love them ... we are now adopting from (Edgecomb) again and care for the animals until they can be placed where they will thrive. Events like this are so welcome and appreciated.”
Entertainment was provided by the (returning) Murky Water Band. Also performing were local singers Corey “Bobo” Tibbetts, who sang what many locals consider his signature song, “Walking in Memphis;” and Suzie Edwards sang a few songs, including “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “I’m Yours” while playing her ukulele.
New this time around: Sean Sickles of The Unplugged Arcade set up games, and Jones reported a lot of younger people were really getting into it and having a great time.
Suzie Edwards said, “I just want to thank the community for coming out, and for all the amazing raffle donations. We were still picking up donations the day before the event and some businesses were dropping off raffle items during the event. I saw a ton of people I’d never seen before.”