B y Matthew Saari
The age old Granville-Whitehall rivalry is spilling over from the gridiron into the local food pantries.
John Hoagland, president of Skene Valley Group, and Deb Brosseau, marketing representative for Manchester Newspapers, have been organizing a friendly competition between the communities of Whitehall and Granville in an effort to stock up the food pantries of both communities.
“We just started it this year,” Hoagland said. “It’s obviously going to benefit the less-fortunate in Whitehall and Granville.”
“This is the time of year that the food pantries are depleted,” Brosseau added.
Brosseau said she and Hoagland have been mulling the idea since last year, attempting to come up with an event to benefit both communities in time for the holidays, when inspiration suddenly struck.
“I really can’t tell you when. I was honestly just thinking of how to give back to the communities we live in,” he said. “What better way than to pit each town against the other like in the old rivalry days? But really there is no loser.”
“It’s always been a fun rivalry,” chimed in Brosseau.
The stakes? Bragging rights and a glorious trophy, donated by Glens Falls’ Sports Journal Photos and Trophies.
“Hopefully we do this every year and we give the trophy to the winners,” Hoagland said.
With the idea firmly cemented, Hoagland then had to devise the rulebook. Initially, the “winnings” would have been judged based upon weight, but after further contemplation, that was deemed unsuitable.
“Someone could donate 20 boxes of spaghetti which is a lot more than a couple of cans of sauce,” Hoagland said.
Instead, each pantry’s collections will be judged based upon the number of donations provided.
“Whoever has the most items will be declared the winner,” said Hoagland.
Railroaders and the Golden Horde need not worry about breaking the bank to push their team downfield – any food donation, no matter how big or small, is welcome.
“No item is too small,” Hoagland said. “Whatever they want to donate is fine.”
“It’s all in the spirit of giving,” Brosseau added.
Hoagland did advise however that if anyone intends to donate cash or checks they do so directly to the respective food pantry.
Businesses in both communities have stepped forward to accept the challenge with the intent of snatching the trophy – and bragging rights.
Thus far the Railroader businesses include Stewart’s, the Elks, Community Bank, Berkshire Bank, Skene Valley Insurance, Historic Grounds, Lake Champlain Coal and Carol’s Collectibles.
As of press time the Golden Horde businesses are Shaw Insurance, Glens Falls National Bank, both branches of Great Meadow Federal Credit Union and Manchester Newspapers.
Each business will have a food collection box, which will be collected each Friday until the end of the competition on Friday, Nov. 17.
“Hopefully the food banks will be stocked a little higher at that time – in time for the holidays,” Hoagland said.
If you or your business would like to participate in the Great Granville Whitehall Holiday Food Drive Competition contact Hoagland at 518-948-2928.
If you wish to make a donation directly to either food pantry contact the Whitehall Food Pantry at 518-499-2039 or the Granville Food Pantry at 518-642-1853.

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