Food for thought: Sussex County salutes its “Circle’ of friends

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Georgetown Elementary School students accept a plaque from Michael Vincent, president of the Sussex County Council saluting the school’s efforts in supporting the Caroling on The Circle food drive. Georgetown Elementary School collected 2,405 food items.

GEORGETOWN – When it comes to helping those in need, Sussex County has a large “circle” of friends.

Five days before Valentine’s Day, Sussex County government offered heart-felt thanks to the individuals, groups and organizations who made the 2015 Caroling on The Circle food drive a huge success during the Feb. 9 county council meeting.

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Sussex Academy was among the Caroling on The Circle food drive participants honored at the Feb. 9 Sussex County Council meeting. From left: Sussex Academy art teacher Rebecca Frankum, students Emily Watson and Brandon Maccubbin and Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent.

A number of representatives from participating groups and schools were presented plaques of appreciation at the council meeting.

“On behalf of the Sussex County Council, the county employees … I want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Caroling on The Circle and congratulate you all on a job well done,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson.

For several decades, the annual caroling event has ushered in the holiday season and doubled as a festive donation/collection venue.

As of Feb. 3, the food drive count stood at 23,542 items, along with $6,335 in monetary donations, 44 turkeys courtesy of Aloft AeroArchitects and 11 bags of clothing from Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association.

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Bob Shinholt of Aloft AeroArchitects receives a plaque from Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent in recognition of the company’s support of the Caroling on The Circle food drive.

“Thanks to the generosity of this community and the tireless efforts of our volunteers, we collected over 23,500 items and raised more than $6,000, which was also used to purchase additional items that were donated to approximately 15 area pantries, shelters and organizations for distribution within Sussex County,” Mr. Lawson said.

Since its inception in 1984 as part of the Delaware First Initiative, the Caroling on The Circle food drive has collected 670,000 items in its 32 year history.

Again, in a repeat performance, Georgetown-based Aloft AeroArchitects (formerly PATs Aircraft) topped the list with 4,074 food items, a $2,000 cash donation and 44 turkeys.

Long Neck Elementary School topped the list of participating schools, with its contribution of 2,622 canned goods/non-perishable food items.

Next on the school list: Millsboro Middle School with 2,452, and Georgetown Elementary School with 2,405.

First State Manufactured Housing Association contributed $2,085 and 2,502 items.

Caroling on The Circle honorees

Colonial East, LP; West Bay Homeowner Assoc., Inc.; Fuqua, Yori and Willard, P.A.; Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association; Sussex County Council; First State Manufactured Housing Association; Millsboro Middle School; Sussex County employees; All-Span Inc.; Aloft AeroArchitects; Georgetown Elementary School; Georgetown Middle School; H.O. Brittingham Elementary School; Milton Elementary School; Long Neck Elementary School; A.P. Croll and Son, Inc.; Little Einstein Preschool; Sussex Academy; Sussex County Association of Realtors; Mark Roethel (POD donation). POD (donations Dec. 1, Dec. 4 and Dec. 7); Caroling on The Circle.

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Cathy Showell, school counselor at Long Neck Elementary School receives a plaque from Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent for the school’s participation in the Caroling on The Circle food drive campaign. Long Neck Elementary School contributed 2,622 food items.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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