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World record-breaking attempt raises funds for Meals on Wheels
Man will try to pull 6,000 pound truck 50 feet up hill for an hour
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Bob Muir loads meals Friday to be delivered for Meals on Wheels. The nonprofit has more than 100 people on a waiting list, but community members are coming forward to raise money for the program - photo by Tom Reed

Meals on Wheels fundraiser

What: For one hour, Greg Cochran will attempt to pull a 6,000 pound truck 50 feet up a hill.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today
Where: Greene Ford, 2365 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
Contact: 770-503-3330

How to donate
To contribute to the fund for Meals on Wheels at the North Georgia Community Foundation, go to www.ngfc.org, click on "Donate Online" in the left-hand column, then under "designation" select "Community Council on Aging Fund" toward the bottom of the list. For more information on how to donate, contact the foundation at 770-535-7880.

The more than 100 people on a Meals on Wheels waiting list may get some help from another set of wheels today.

In an effort to raise funds for the program and break a world record, Greg Cochran will attempt to pull a 6,000 pound truck 50 feet up a hill for one hour.

"The significance is one pound for every meal we serve on a monthly basis," said Milon Christman III, Meals on Wheels program coordinator.

The event is happening 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Greene Ford on Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

It takes a little more than $600,000 to serve five meals a week to 325 people for a year. In order to bring lunch to those on the waiting list, the program needs to raise just under $200,000.

Phillipa Lewis Moss, director of the Gainesville-Hall Community Service Center, said many nonprofits are having difficulty raising funds because of the economy.

"We are competing with a lot of other good programs and services that we also value," Moss said.

Meals on Wheels provides a nutritious, hot meal to many elderly and disabled customers, and the volunteers who deliver the meals provide a friendly face to help prevent social isolation.

Moss said most of the people the program serves worked hard and saved money for retirement while they were able to but "simply underestimated" the cost of living, the expense of health care and the toll the loss of a spouse would take on their quality of life.

"Unlike working adults who have the ability to generate income to meet their needs, their incomes are permanently limited and they have no other way of increasing," Moss said.

Moss said help for the agency is starting to emerge.

Wyc Orr, a local attorney and "concerned citizen," helped to establish a fund at the North Georgia Community Foundation in September to raise money to serve the people on the waiting list. So far, almost $10,000 has been raised.

He said that while building the fund is going well, they "still have a lot of heavy lifting to do."

Orr said the citizens of Gainesville and Hall County have a tradition of helping good causes.

"I have no doubt that the community will respond in accordance with that great tradition," Orr said.

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