‘The community has given to me’: Blind Sycamore resident gives $100 to food drive

December 6, 2018

SYCAMORE – Christie Brazier has been through a lot. The 40-year-old Sycamore resident and mother of three is legally blind – has been since 2007, when she was in a car crash in Nebraska.

Yet in the somewhat early-goings of the annual Freezin’ for Food fundraiser alongside the Hy-Vee gas station in the parking lot, at 2700 DeKalb Ave., she dropped in to donate a hundred bucks. That can equate to 800 pounds of food for those who need it.

“The community has given to me,” Brazier said. “Why not share when it needs my help?”

She got to be on air with WLBK radio host TD Ryan, and even got a hug from him. But then, he’s a hugger. Ryan will be broadcasting on 98.9 FM and AM-1360 in the cold through 6 p.m. Saturday.

He said about 11:15 a.m. that donations are behind the typical pace, with 2,480 pounds of food having come in, as well as $1,400 in cash donations. He said Friday and Saturday are the big days.

“We’re hoping for a big day tomorrow, but it would be nice to have a relatively big day today,” Ryan said.

Then two consecutive donors showed up within five minutes, both donating $250 – those $500 equating to about two tons of food.

“It renews me because, honestly, I get a little cynical,” Ryan said. “I don’t like our society being so dependant on things being given to them. Then you meet Christie, who’s back on her feet, and she takes an effort to give back to the people who have helped her. That explains the whole cycle to me.”

Roger Votaw, a 66-year-old Cortland resident, was a passenger in the second vehicle to pour through with a $250 donation.

“We need to help people who need it,” Votaw said, explaining why he donates each year. “And we also need to make sure [TD] is freezing.”

Those $500 will result in 4,000 pounds of food, Ryan said – doubling the donations in the drive’s first year, 18 years ago, when they got 2,000 pounds of food.

“And my wife had to bring 10-pound bags of flour, because I said I wouldn’t leave until we got 2,000 pounds,” Ryan said.

The goal remains to raise 50,000 pounds of food for those who need it – the food and cash donations go to The Salvation Army.

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