By Sarah Schrock

When Glenn Schmekel heard a calling to help feed his fellow neighbors in need, he took the idea of starting a food bank to the county officials. They told him that no food bank in the county was successful because they can’t afford to pay rent and keep their doors open when donations come in the form of food. So, when Schmekel started The Cove in 1998, he had a greater vision and plan than providing emergency food staples to people in need based solely on drives for donated food. He knew the organization would need financial donations and set out to achieve a sustaining plan.

Thanks to the generosity of local patrons and consistent leadership, 20 years later The Cove runs six charitable programs and owns its buildings. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, The Cove opened its doors to the entire community last Wednesday and provided a free barbeque lunch. As friends and neighbors spilled into Glover Street licking their chops from the delicious ribs, Mayor Soo Ing-Moody presented Schmekel with a community service award from the Town of Twisp to recognize the contribution The Cove provides to many residents who rely on assistance.

Saturday’s wind gusts made for a challenging Earth Day clean-up, as piles swept up were sometimes swept away. Despite the gusty morning, volunteers from around town, Town Council members, and members of the Community Covenant Church joined forces to pick up garbage along Highway 20 and rake up the winter leaf litter in the Twisp Park. The park is in better shape now as the blanket of needles has been lifted away.

Park users should be reminded that there are free doggie doo bags located near the waterfront trail. We all love your pooches, but not their poop in the park! In other park news, don’t miss the Arbor Day celebration at the Twisp Commons on Saturday (April 28) at noon.

Finally, in honor of Earth Day, Tory Karpenko enticed his son and mine to pick up litter along the Twisp Carlton Road Sunday. Paying them 10 cents a can, in less than two hours, they managed to earn almost $12 each. Do the math — that’s a lot of cans. Busch drinkers were reported to be the biggest offenders.

Finally, go see “Annie.” This performance marks the 40th year of the Methow Valley Community Theater. It’s a huge cast, so you are bound to see someone you know on stage or be related to someone on stage. It’s an impressive undertaking. Given the popularity of the movie and Broadway hit, its big shoes to fill. Sweet Olive Frady leaves nothing not to like. When she reaches for those high notes in “Tomorrow,” your heart wants her to hit it. You will want to root for everyone on stage, because they are your neighbor, friend, student, police officer, co-worker or barista, and they are putting themselves out there. Because it’s amateur theater, leave your expectations at the door and enjoy a familiar face in a new role for entertainment’s sake. You can even have a double header of dramatic action this weekend as The Merc’s “Rikki Tikki Tavi” opens this Thursday (April 26) and runs through May 6.

PREVIOUSLY, IN TWISP

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