AUXVASSE - A local church is hoping a night of entertainment will help feed area school children this year.
On Sept. 6, Auxvasse Christian Church will host an "Old Time Radio Show" readers theater to raise money for the Buddy Pack program in Callaway County.
Pastor Alan Bailey, who lives in Jefferson City, said he has been involved in a reader's theater there, and the success of those events was the inspiration for the fundraiser.
Bailey said attendees will get to "experience what it was like to sit in a radio studio in the '30s and '40s."
The performance will include readings of half-hour episodes of four different shows: comedies "Life of Riley" and "Blondie" and mysteries "Inner Sanctum" and "The Whistler" - which Bailey, a fan of classic radio, said is his favorite show.
The majority of the cast will be from the productions in Jefferson City, but Bailey said there will be a few Callaway participants as well.
Bailey said he is looking forward to the reaction from the crowd - especially the older members of the audience who grew up listening to the radio serials.
"I love when I can look into the audience when they close their eyes and are thinking back to when they were a kid sitting by the radio," he said.
The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the performance set to start at 7 p.m. There will also be raffles and a silent auction. There is no set amount for the donation to get in.
"I'd like people to give as much as they can to help those children be fed," Bailey said.
According Bill Nigus, who coordinates the Buddy Pack program for Callaway County that sends school-age children home with a backpack of food to get through the weekend, the support will be welcome.
Nigus said 280 students participated in Buddy Pack last year, and at least that many are expected again for the 2014-15 school year. The annual cost per student is $180. Nigus said the fundraising goal for this year is $50,000, which needs to be raised by October. He said as of the most recent estimate, $20,000 is still needed to make that goal.
Although most of the food sent home in the Buddy Packs is bought from the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, Nigus said the local chapter does supplement that through local contributions - particularly during the holidays.
This year, he said, they plan to go back to doing peanut butter drives. Peanut butter is typically the most expensive item included in the packs.Anyone interested in contributing to the Buddy Pack program can donate at any of the Callaway County branches of Central Bank, The Callaway Bank, United Security Bank or Bank Star One. Donations can also be made online at www.sharefoodbringhope.org.
Nigus, who is also a school bus driver, said the motivation to support the Buddy Pack program is often painfully obvious.
"When I have a student coming on the bus and making a statement like, "I get to eat this weekend,' that is why I do it," Nigus said. "We need to make sure this program happens in the county because kids need to eat."