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Olympic Theatre, Tulalip Tribes collect for local food banks

M.J. Drush of Servpro shows off the estimated 300 pounds of food collected at the Olympic Theatre’s Nov. 13 showing of “Megamind.” - Kirk Boxleitner
M.J. Drush of Servpro shows off the estimated 300 pounds of food collected at the Olympic Theatre’s Nov. 13 showing of “Megamind.”
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — Members of the Arlington, Tulalip and Marysville communities came together on behalf of the food banks that support them Nov. 12-13.

The Olympic Theatre in downtown Arlington collected an estimated 300 pounds of food from more than 60 attendees of its Nov. 13 morning showing of “Megamind.”

“I live in Arlington and I come to the Olympic Theatre a lot,” said M.J. Drush of Servpro, who collected the boxes of food in the back of her minivan for the Marysville Community Food Bank. “I thought a free family movie would be a great way to motivate people to come out and donate.”

Drush is already planning next year’s collection drive with the Olympic Theatre, which she hopes to schedule at the same time as the annual Arlington “Hometown Halloween” weekend in order to take advantage of foot-traffic from visitors and area residents alike.

“For our first year this was great, but I’m still hoping to get more people next year,” Drush said. “The average person is so blessed with how much they have in their home that it takes so little to give. People worry that they can’t give $100, but there’s no reason they can’t give $10.”

The day before, volunteers at the Tulalip Amphitheatre collected 75 boxes of food for the Marysville and Tulalip food banks as part of their Nov. 12 holiday food drive.

Tulalip Tribal Public Affairs Coordinator Mytyl Hernandez noted that this is the annual holiday food drive’s third year, but is also the first year that it’s been advertised outside of the Tulalip Tribes’ governmental and business agencies. Angela Guadamuz, the poker project coordinator for the Tribes, added that the poker rooms will continue to collect for the two food banks through Dec. 12.

“If you bring in two canned food items during the morning poker tournament, you’ll get 500 additional tournament chips,” Guadamuz said. “If you do it during the afternoon tournament, you’ll get an additional 1,000 chips.”

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring stopped by that afternoon to praise the crew of volunteers for their haul of donations, which had already covered two tables and filled part of a collection truck by the time he visited at 1 p.m.

“These are difficult times, so events like this take on an added significance,” Nehring said. “So many folks are struggling, whether they live in town or on the reservation, that it’s great to see partnerships between the Tribes and the surrounding community that are stepping up to support those in need. This impacts everyone in the Marysville and Tulalip community.”

Dell Deierling, director of the Marysville Community Food Bank, likewise praised what he deemed “the energy of a cohesive community,” generated by the Tribes and the service organizations with which they’ve teamed up.

“Donations have really picked up during the past two weeks, but what that means is that the need has increased as well,” Deierling said. “The community really comes together to provide for others, whether its been by giving money, food or time through volunteering.”

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