PITTSBURG – Feeding the hungry. It’s a simple mission and one where neighbors within a community are lending a helping hand to one another.

So when the Rotary Club of Pittsburg was looking for a service project to really impact the city and its residents, it came up with the Lord’s Diner. In conjunction with Sunrise Rotary, the club is responsible for serving dinner one night a month and numerous members volunteer with other entities to help serve the rest of the month.

Although the Lord’s Diner Pittsburg is made possible by the generosity and leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, it needed to be sustainable. Rotary started Rocktoberfest and raised funds annually to help with the cost of food. It is estimated that it costs $365 a night to serve a meal at the Diner and over 53,000 meals were prepared in 2019 by more than 800 volunteers. A campaign known as “Give 365” was established based off the nightly cost of food.

In November 2019, Rotarians Joe Leek, Dr. Brett Dunbar and Joe Dellasega came together and decided to get more of the community involved in our club’s fundraising efforts. A phonathon was organized under the leadership of Rotary President-Elect Johnna Norton. In just two hours, Rotarians made hundreds of calls and jump started the process which raised $185,000. These funds are pivotal in helping the Lord’s Diner meet their budgetary needs. The real excitement and energy came from our wonderful community and how gracious and kind so many citizens were in donating financially to this service project. In particular, one anonymous donor made a pledge to match the first $50,000 worth of donations.

On Tuesday, Rotary officially unveiled the total funds raised by the Rotary Club of Pittsburg. This event will took place at the Lord’s Diner.

"Rotary wishes to thank everyone who donated and everyone who serves at the Lord’s Diner for helping contribute to the success of this venue in our community," a release from Rotary said. "Rotary International’s theme this year is People of Action and the Rotary Club of Pittsburg is proud to be leading people to action in our hometown."