ATLANTIC – It’s not surprising that April Zarbano is a Scrooge Candidate.
The manager of the Fireside Lounge has been with the business for 14 years, and has been helping with community projects during her entire time there.
Zarbano is one of four candidates participating in the 2019 Scrooge Contest, in which they collect non-perishable food items or monetary donations for the Atlantic Food Pantry. Candidates receive points for food items or cash donations, and the candidate that receives the most points is named “Scrooge.” The winner serves as the Grand Marshall for Lighted Christmas Parade, and candidates have until Nov. 29 at noon to collect their items and funds and submit their points for the contest.
The idea of naming someone a “Scrooge,” comes from the story “A Christmas Carol,” in which the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, finds the true meaning of Christmas. The contest was organized by Eleanor Hoover, who passed away earlier this year. Her daughters, Lori Christianson, Jackie Sampson and Billie Hoover, and Karen Miller, stepped in to organize the contest.
One community project Zarbano and other members of the Fireside Lounge support is the food pantry.
“The Fireside has always been involved with the food pantry,” Zarbano said. “We’ve helped out a lot down there.”
Plus, she has also been involved with the Joe Dirt Program- which includes a pool tournament, card tournament, 50/50 raffle, silent auction and bake sale-and proceeds go to the Atlantic Police Department and Cass County for their family programs.
“I’m involved in the big Joe Dirt program every year that donates to the cops program,” she said. “I just enjoy helping the public.”
Zarbano, like others, thought Hoover had her name on the list for possible Scrooge Candidates, which is why she was chosen this year. She has a couple of fund-raisers planned to collected items and money for the contest.
First, starting today, she said “ if a customer donates so many points, they get their name into a drawing for Fireside Gift Certificate, and that will be for two weeks until the Nov. 25.”
She said the gift certificate will be $50, and those who donate 10 points worth of items or money will get one entry into the drawing. Those who donate 25 points worth of items or money will two entries, and those who donate 40 or more points worth of items or money will get three entries.
And on Nov. 24, the Fireside will hold an “All You Can Eat” Brunch and offer Bloody Marys or Mimosas for $20.
“All proceeds go towards April for Scrooge- and ultimately the food pantry,” organizers said.
There will also be a box at the Fireside Lounge and a box at KSOM Radio Station for people to donate items for Zarbano.