I was embarrassed and astonished to learn of how many Northlanders there are that are in need of food.  Not just during the holidays, but on a day to day basis.  I learned that many of them are our neighbors and many are children.  The late Patrick Plys and his family saw the need and with their direction, ambition and passion, the Project Joy Backpack Program was introduced in our area.  You can help by attending the Project Joy Event or by volunteering your time.

Many local students only eat one hot meal a day, at school.  On Friday these students go home knowing they may go hungry until school the following week.

Project Joy was started to honor the legacy of Patrick Plys, a business man and community leader who strived to make a difference in our region. Patrick lost his battle with cancer in January 2012.  His wife Laura, his children, family and friends carry on his legacy and give back to the community in Patrick’s honor with Project Joy.

It was while in the hospital recovering from a stroke, Patrick was unable to speak. He signaled for a piece of paper and wrote down the phrase, “I choose joy.” Laura, his wife, shares that during his battle he made the decision to choose joy over sadness which in essence started their movement to create joy in the lives of others.

Here's how you can help.

On Friday, November 22, 2013,  from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. at the Duluth Curling Club, 327 Harbor Drive, Duluth, the 2nd Annual Project Joy Event will be held.  The evening  includes: appetizers, dessert, coffee, a cash bar, silent and live auction, wine wall, entertainment and more. Tickets are available at the door. Prices are $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-12 and free for children age 5 and under.

There is also an on-line auction at northernlakesfoodbank.org which includes everything from sailing on Lake Superior to a week stay at a Pensacola Beach, Florida condo and is open from now through Monday, November 25, 2013, 3 p.m. CDT.