November 14, 2008
Dryden grocery dash nets cartfuls
Three-minute shopping spree benefits Rotary, food pantries, youth programs
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Glenn Reisweber takes part in a 3-minute shopping spree Thursday at Clark’s Dryden Food Market as part of a fundraiser for the Dryden Rotary Club. Reisweber grabbed $311.66 worth of goods, most of which was donated to area food pantries.
DRYDEN — Glenn Reisweber entered Clark’s Dryden Food Market like a conquering hero Thursday evening.
Pumping his fists in the air and listening to the cheers of Dryden Rotary Club members, the winner of the club’s annual Food Run raffle prepared to grab all the food he could in three minutes.
Reisweber would end up with $311.66 in food, which grew to $346.66 after a $35 donation from the store. The groceries were donated to a local food pantry.
The Lime Hollow Nature Center’s director and member of Cortland Breakfast Rotary wore Army shorts and a red shirt for his quick stab at charity.
He stretched his lean legs and announced that he would be running down the first four of the store’s 11 aisles. Owner Dick Clark stationed staff workers at each end and asked shoppers who entered the store to wait a few minutes.
The runner is chosen by raffle ticket. Starting at 6 p.m., the runner has three minutes to gather as many groceries as he or she can. Beer and tobacco products are not an option.
Everything else is.
The Rotary Club pays for the food (always roughly $300) and donates the remaining money (roughly $700) to youth programs, according to Rotary member Brian Buttner.
Like Reisweber, the previous Food Run winners were Rotary members, although Dryden Rotary members are not eligible.
“Usually they go for nonperishable food, like canned goods, cereal, pasta,” Clark said. “They can grab one of each item. I always hold my breath that they’re gonna go for the frozen meats but they never do.”
Reisweber had bought his raffle ticket Oct. 29 at his Rotary’s meeting. Buttner said between 200 and 250 tickets were sold at $5 apiece. The Dryden Rotary selected the winner Sunday.
“I want you to know, I’m at a disadvantage,” Reisweber, 45, told the crowd of about 50 people waiting for him to run. “My wife does all the shopping.”
“Well, she can run with you,” a Rotary member said.
“I don’t think he knew what the inside of a grocery store looked liked until today,” said Reisweber’s wife, Nadine, who watched Glenn’s efforts but did not run with him.
Jeff Dunn of WHCU radio, a Dryden Rotary member, announced to shoppers over the public address system that the Food Run would take place, then counted down the seconds. As he said “Go,” Reisweber ran to aisle 3 with a cart and pulled cans of soup and vegetables off the shelves, dropping some.
He filled the cart in one minute, ran to Aisle 4 with another cart, filling that with cereal and pasta. Three photographers from local newspapers chased or preceded him.
With one minute left, he raced to Aisle 1 and snatched jars of peanut butter off shelves as Clark said, “He could break something.”
As the seconds counted down to the final minute, Reisweber hesitated, ran to Aisle 2, then burst toward the checkout. He slipped as he rounded the aisle’s end and hit a stack of nuts and raisins in plastic containers, sending some across the floor.
“Alright, who’s got the oxygen mask?” said a gasping Reisweber as the Rotary members unloaded the food and the amount grew on the checkout register. “Sorry about that last turn.”
He said he has not been running as much as he used to. Asked why he was sweating so hard, he said of his perspiration, “I’m a sweater by trade. My legs are kind of tight, too.”
Reisweber admitted that Nadine had told him what food to look for.
Reisweber’s total of $346.66 in food, which dropped to $311.66 when Clark added the store’s donation, was the most in the Food Run’s three-year history. The previous high was $299.36, discounted to $269.36, said event chair Steve Scott.
Reisweber donated most of the groceries to the food pantries in Dryden, McLean and Freeville.
“Dryden Rotary Club came out and built a wheelchair-accessible deck at Lime Hollow,” Reisweber said, “so this is my way of giving back.”
The champion did claim one item as his.
“One gallon of maple syrup — I’m keeping that,” he said.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe