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Local student helps to knock hunger out of the park

Sarah Ruhmann with Adam Wainwright

Two barrels is a lot of food, especially for a 15-year-old girl, but that’s what Sarah Ruhmann collected in support of Operation Food Search and the Cardinals “Big League Impact.”

Ruhmann organized a food drive on July 23 in the form of a party in her backyard. Each guest had to give three approved food donations as a type of “cover charge.” To Ruhmann’s delight, the community and local businesses rallied around the event with big displays of generosity.

Kona Ice donated its truck and offered snow cones for the guests. Big Fun Inflatables donated an 18-foot water slide and DJ Enrique gave of his time and talent to provide music for the party. “Seeing and feeling the generosity from those in our community, as well as the vendors was really heartwarming,” said Sarah’s mom, Robin. “It is great to see how much good there is in the world when you do things like this.”

Sarah also was touched by the support she received.

“I like helping out every chance I get,” she said. “I learned if you put time and effort into something that you care about, you can help a lot of people.”

Party goers also had the opportunity to put their names in a raffle for the chance to win four Cardinals tickets, in conjunction with a contest sponsored by Country Financial, and throw out the first pitch at an upcoming game.

On the last day of the contest, Adam Wainwright drew the lucky winner and talked about his passion for Operation Food Search and Big League Impact.

“The model behind the organization is that we keep 50 percent of the money we raise here in St. Louis because there are people here that are hungry and thirsty – maybe not in the same exact way as in those third world countries, but they are hungry and their families need food, water, nutrition and medicine,” Wainwright said. “The other 50 percent of the money goes overseas to the families that also need help there.”

Wainwright was impressed with Sarah’s enthusiasm for a good cause.

“Sarah told me that she had a backyard bash just for this event, passed out fliers in the community and got a bunch of donations of food to bring in. I think it’s awesome that young people take initiative to do such great things in the community to help people that are starving and hungry, to eat another meal. It’s big time in my mind and I’d love to see that spread to a lot more kids. I told her she’s going to be the president one day,” Wainwright said.

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