Union Leader: Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Aspiring to get a little 'messy

July 30th, 2012

Katie McQuaid’s Scene in Manchester: Aspiring to get a little ‘messy’


By KATIE McQUAID
July 29. 2012 10:08PM
Special to The New Hampshire Union Leader

I SPEND A good amount of my time doing community service work and participating in charitable events. You know, things like organizing a fundraising event, raking yards for the elderly or attending benefit dinners for non-profits. I like to think of myself as a do-gooder. But, am I really?

I’ve always stopped short of offering the kind of help that I call “messy.” This kind of help might get me face-to-face with someone who actually needs it. This kind of help would also require me to develop a personal relationship with someone different from me and disrupt my neat little lifestyle.

Leigh Anne Tuohy wasn’t afraid of getting “messy” when she invited Michael Oher, a young man who needed a safe place to stay, in to her neat little lifestyle and he eventually became a part of her family. You may have heard of their story. It was made into a movie called “The Blind Side,” and Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Tuohy.

Tuohy will be in Manchester on Sept. 12 to tell her story at Feeding Hope 2012, a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Food Bank. The event will be held in the Food Bank’s East Industrial Park Drive warehouse with food prepared by students of its culinary program.

I hope to attend this event because it’s one of those easy and familiar ways that I can call myself a community do-gooder. But I also hope Tuohy’s story will inspire me to get a little “messy” and go beyond just providing a canned good or cash donation to the Food Bank. I’d like to think that I can be like Tuohy and provide not just food to someone who is hungry, but also some love and compassion.

Tickets for Feeding Hope 2012 are $100 or $150 with admission to a VIP reception with Tuohy. Sponsorship packages are available and include tickets to the event. Smart businesses would jump on this opportunity to help out the hungry people of New Hampshire while also providing a motivating experience for some lucky employees, colleagues and clients.

For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Colleen Cowette at ccowette@nhfoodbank.org or 669-9725, ext. 129.