The ultimate battle of the genders for a good cause

‘He Shed/She Shed’ will benefit Backpack Buddies

The Messenger is partnering with Iowa Central Community College and Mitch Lunn State Farm to present the He Shed, She Shed raffle at the Home Garden and Lifestyle Show March 1-3. The drawing will be held March 3. The winner will pick which shed they want.

The number of children in the Fort Dodge community who need nutritious food on the weekends continues to grow, according to Terry Moehnke, program director for Backpack Buddies.

“We have added more kids in the last few weeks than what we have had in the past,” Moehnke said. “There’s a lot more children who have expressed interest in the food.”

That’s why the Backpack Buddies program distributes food to children in the Fort Dodge community for weekend use when they otherwise would have little to eat.

To help support that program, The Messenger is partnering with Iowa Central Community College and Mitch Lunn State Farm to present the He Shed, She Shed raffle.

Two sheds have been built through a program that pairs Iowa Central Community instructors with inmates at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility. The inmates build them as part of their educational experience in the building trades.

The sheds resemble the tiny homes also built by inmates. About six of those tiny homes were placed at the Gypsum City OHV Park southeast of Fort Dodge and can be rented by campers there during regular camping season.

Dan Kinney, Iowa Central Community College president, said the sheds are high quality.

“They are the top-class sheds,” Kinney said. “They have electrical in them. They have some work benches in them. They aren’t your typical sheds.”

The value of the sheds is estimated at about $8,000.

Kinney appreciates the partnerships in place to benefit the community.

“We thought this was a great project for this to make an impact on our community,” Kinney said. “I am excited for this to benefit Backpack Buddies. We are into the communities we serve.”

Tickets are $25 to be entered into the raffle. Only 250 tickets will be sold. Tickets are available from any Noon Sertoma member, from Dr. Terry Moehnke at 25 S. 16th St., or at The Messenger.

The winner will have their choice of the two sheds.

“The Messenger is thrilled to partner with Iowa Central, Noon Sertoma, and Mitch Lunn State Farm to raise proceeds for the Backpack Buddies program,” Terry Christensen, publisher of The Messenger, said. “The winner will be announced at our Home Garden and Lifestyle Show the first week of March.”

The Messenger’s Home Garden and Lifestyle Show will be held March 1, 2, and 3 at Iowa Central Community College East Campus, 2031 Quail Ave. The drawing will be held on March 3.

Proceeds from the raffle will be used to purchase food for Backpack Buddies.

According to Moehnke, each bag of food costs $4. About 680 bags are distributed per week, he said.

Backpack Buddies partners with NEW Coop Foundation on an annual basis, which helps to provide most of the funding for the program.

Still, funding for the program is a constant need, Moehnke said.

“We are just very thankful that The Messenger and Iowa Central and the sponsors have stepped up to help us this year,” Moehnke said.

The program is helping sustain children and has also improved attendance in schools.

“The school does a very good job of providing food, but over holiday breaks and just regularly,” Moehnke said. “Regularly kids are dependent on the school for breakfast and lunch and we just provide them with the food so they can get through the weekend and show up fresh on Monday. We do know that attendance has improved on Fridays because of the distribution day is on Friday. So the kids look forward to it and we are glad to help them out.”