November 16, 2021

Buddy Bags Receives $2,840 in Groceries from Gateway Fiber at Big Sticky’s Charity Event

As part of Gateway Fiber’s ongoing community outreach efforts, Lincoln County-based charity Buddy Bags received a donation of $2,840 in groceries from Gateway, thanks to “Gateway Gives: Dining Out for Buddy Bags,” a customer appreciation event hosted by Big Sticky’s Barbecue in Troy on October 9.

“The amazing response from our customers and Big Sticky’s customers to support this great cause was terrific,” said John Meyer, Gateway’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We are honored to help support Buddy Bags’ mission, and our customers showed their hearts are in the same place. Together we can make a difference in the community.”

Rather than donate cash, Gateway spent the raised funds on a shopping spree at Save-A-Lot for items Buddy Bags needs the most for the students in the program, such as non-perishable meals and snacks. Each Buddy Bag costs $5.50 per bag and supplies a child with enough food for a two-day weekend. The groceries purchased with the donation filled over 500 Buddy Bags.

According to Beverly Flerlage of Buddy Bags, “We are feeding approximately 500 kids a week, so this will be a tremendous help.”

Big Sticky’s co-owner Amber Fetter has been a huge supporter of Buddy Bags for a long time, so much so that the restaurant hosts a Buddy Bag collection station in the corner.

“Buddy Bags is an organization near and dear to our hearts,” Fetter said. “As a former teacher, I saw the need in some of my students every day and was so glad when Buddy Bags stepped up to fill it.”

Gateway’s mission is to positively impact the local community through better internet service in an area traditionally underserved by other providers and to be a local company committed to local causes.

“Gateway was on board from the start, as the pioneers of this event, working to make it a reality,” Fetter said. “Gateway’s generous contribution means even more kids will get meals and snacks instead of going hungry.”

Being a local small business, Gateway wanted to help fellow small business Big Sticky’s boost sales by hosting the event when traffic has been affected by street construction in downtown Troy, limiting parking options outside the restaurant.

“By holding the event at Big Sticky’s,” Meyer explained, “we not only raised money for a great cause but also helped another small business get a bump in revenue for the weekend. It was a win-win for everyone.”

Buddy Bag accepts donations all year, not just while school is in session. To contribute, reach out to Buddy Bags on their Facebook page or the Lincoln County R-III School District page.