ROCKLAND — On Feb 4, 2020, innkeepers, restaurant owners, volunteers, and business members who participated in the 16th Annual Pies on Parade Pie Weekend presented a check to the Area Interfaith Outreach (AIO) Food Pantry and Fuel Assistance Program for $30,987, representing all ticket sales, silent auction, raffle sales, cash donations and Camden Scavenger Hunt proceeds from the annual pie tour. This brings the total donations for AIO’s food and fuel assistance programs to more than $250,000 from the Pies on Parade’s sixteen-year tenure, according to Pies, in a news release.
More than 650 pie-eaters attended the 16th Annual Pie Tour on a January weekend. More than 50 varieties of pies were baked, and an estimated 15,000 pieces of pie were consumed.
More than one hundred lodging properties, restaurants and businesses from Rockland and Camden equally and collectively donated over 1000 hours of time and thousands of dollars in products and services to ensure a sizable donation could be made to the food pantry once again this year.
In addition to pies, many businesses donated gift certificates, gifts, artworks, overnight stays and other items to the silent auction and Camden scavenger/trivia hunt from businesses throughout the Midcoast, raising well over $3,800 toward the total donation.
Maritime Energy matched the $2,500 raised from cash donations dropped into the oil can-collection jars and the special events during the pie tour. Plus, companies like Blueberry Broadcasting and 44 Business Capital, A Division of Berkshire Bank, Rock Harbor Tap Room, and All Aboard Trolley offered cash support and services.
More than 50 AIO Food Panty volunteers were on hand to help on Pie Day, too.
“The founding members of the event are passing on the rolling pins to the next group of innkeepers, volunteers and organizers to continue to evolve and grow this critical fundraiser to benefit AIO,” said Cheryl Michaelsen, former owner of the Berry Manor Inn (and now retired innkeeper) and one of the founders of Pies on Parade, in the release. “The numbers of people in need throughout all of the communities within Knox County that have been able to receive meals, fuel/heat assistance and personal care items because of the efforts of the Rockland and Camden businesses is staggering.”
“The community spirit embraced by Midcoast businesses and even some outside of the Midcoast, to help those in need was remarkable this year,” said Lisa Weiss, co-owner of the Hawthorn Inn in Camden. “The Pie Tour expanded into a weekend-long series of events with the continued growth in the Camden Pie Scavenger Hunt, and it just keeps getting larger and larger.”
According to Pies, next year’s 17th Annual Pies on Parade event promises to rival this year’s extravaganza of pie and community spirit, with a record number of pie-stops and special pie-themed events anticipated. The pie-themed Scavenger Hunt and pie-related demos are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. On Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, from 1 - 4 p.m., the Pies on Parade event will be held. Pies on Parade 2021 tickets are already on sale online at www.PiesonParade.com.