Rowan Helping Ministries draws crowd for Pass the Plate fundraiser

Published 12:05 am Sunday, April 23, 2017

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — Now in its 30th year, Rowan Helping Ministries brought a crowd of people to Catawba College on Saturday for its largest fundraiser.

Catawba’s Peeler Crystal Lounge played host to more than 200 people as part of the annual Pass the Plate Fundraiser. The goal on Saturday was to raise $100,000 to help fund Rowan Helping Ministries’ operations.

The $100,000 goal for Pass the Plate is about 7 percent of Rowan Helping Ministries’ budget, said Executive Director Kyna Grubb.

“It’s a big deal,” Grubb said. “You can write grants, and things like that, to get funding for very specific things, but a lot of times it’s hard to get funding to pay for case managers and different people’s salaries and overhead so we can operate. We can’t help people if we don’t have the staff there to do that.”

Locals may think of Rowan Helping Ministries as a homeless shelter, but there are other important services the agency provides, too, Grubb said.

Rowan Helping Ministries will serve more than 90,000 meals this year, give away more than 700 pounds of food through its pantries, provide help with evictions, help families keep utilities running, spend more than $1 million per year to keep people in their homes, provide case management and teaches various classes, Grubb said.

Pass the Plate included a meal catered by Morgan Ridge, a band, casino games and a silent auction that included birdhouses painted by guests at Rowan Helping Ministries.

Several years ago, volunteer Judy Banish said she helped establish the fundraiser because there wasn’t such an event for Rowan Helping Ministries. It’s steadily grown and doubled in attendance in the past few years, said Pass the Plate Chairwoman Teresa Patterson.

Even after many years in the position, former Executive Director of Rowan Helping Ministries Dianne Scott said she’s still passionate about trying to raise as much money as possible.

It’s important. It gets in your heart, in your soul and you want to see it succeed,” Scott said about Pass the Plate.”

Saturday’s event isn’t the only time to donate to Rowan Helping Ministries. People who want to donate can contact Resources Development Assistant Karen Taylor at or call 704-637-6838, extension 100.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.