BY TOM BUSSELBERG
LAYTON – Thanksgiving turkeys became a reality for hundreds of people in need thanks to the efforts of a soon-to-be inducted Eagle Scout.
“We had zero turkeys. We were desperate. He saved us,” said DaNeen Adams of the Family Connection Center Food Bank in Layton. She was speaking of Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Frohlich, 16, a junior at Northridge High School.
“He raised $6,500,” she said, through canvassing his neighborhood and contacting area businesses.
“He was the sweetest, nicest kid. He raised enough to buy 500 to 600 turkeys,” Adams said.
As a cub scout, Ryan started visiting the food bank and went there many times to help out for Thanksgiving, said his father, Shaun Frohlich.
“He originally went there for a Sub for Santa (Eagle) project and when he found out they were so short on turkeys, he quickly changed the project and started emailing companies, meeting with businesses,” Ryan’s dad said.
About one-third of funds donated came from the family’s neighborhood, including some who are less fortunate themselves.
“We were all shocked. We had no idea people would come forward like they did, especially some of the lower income people in our neighborhood,” Frohlich said.
He told of one family that gave $200.
About $1,600 came from the neighborhood and $3,000 from area businesses. The Neighborhood Walmart in Layton more than matched that donation dollar for dollar, coming up with the remaining $6,500.
“Whatever is left over we will use for Sub for Santa,” Adams said of the donated funds.
“This is the first year we have ever had a waiting list,” she said. That’s because funding has been heavily cut for FCC.
Last year, money was taken from various funds to cover Sub for Santa, but this year there is no way to continue that, Adams emphasized.
“We have only 200 families as of right now. We’ll see what happens” as to whether more people can be added to the active list, she said.
In addition, no toys have been received yet for the program, which has scheduled the toy give-away to needy families for Dec. 18.
“Hopefully, where this is the season of giving, we’ll start to see toys given,” Adams said.
That could include support from businesses, service clubs, churches and families in whatever way they can help, whether through a cash donation, food or other items, she said.
Toys can be taken to the Bountiful FCC at 130 E. 100 North on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or to the food bank at 875 E. Highway 193 in Layton, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or to the Clearfield FCC offices at 1360 S. 1450 East.
Donations can also include food for the food bank, particularly such non-food items as diapers, which are always in short supply. Various toiletries are also needed, Adams said.
“We are expecting a big increase in the price of food, about 8 percent,” she said.