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Wabash Kiwanians Greg and Nick Garner raise funds for Riley Hospital for Children through the local service organization’s Bucket Brigade fundraiser in 2019.

After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an annual fundraising event is set to return later this month.

The Wabash Kiwanis Club “will resume its rich tradition” of supporting Riley Hospital for Children with its 24th annual Bucket Brigade fundraiser from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 31 at local businesses, said board member Eric Seaman.

“Members of the local Kiwanis Club will stand outside of five area storefronts with buckets in hand for customers to drop in change or cash donations,” said Seaman, on Friday.

Seaman said all donations collected on this day will go directly to Riley Hospital for Children.

Seaman said the Wabash Kiwanis Club raised $1,600 during the 2019 event, which brought the all-time Bucket Brigade total for the local chapter to $39,974.73.

“It was the most money we’ve raised in that event since 2006 when we raised $2,162.61,” said Seaman.

Seaman said local businesses which will allow them to participate at their storefronts include:

7 to 10 a.m. at Modoc’s Market, 205 S. Miami St.

7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Fried Egg, 1319 N. Cass St.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walmart of Wabash, 1601 N. Cass St.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wabash Hardware & Rental, 1351 N. Cass St.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bechtol Grocery, 120 Hale Drive.

“Wabash Kiwanis is knocking on the door for the $40,000th dollar raised for Riley Hospital for Children,” said Wabash Kiwanis Board president and Bucket Brigade chairperson Mike Keaffaber. “This is one of the most fun things that we get to do in a Kiwanis capacity. Our members who volunteer for this always love speaking with locals who have had a niece, son, grandchild or whoever who’s benefited from Riley Hospital. We especially love it when parents hand their children some spare change or a dollar bill and have the youngsters themselves put the money in our Brigade buckets.”

Seaman said for more than 100 years, there has been a “deep relationship between the Kiwanis Indiana District and Riley Children’s Hospital, dating back to before the hospital’s doors were even open to Hoosier children.”

Seaman said the state district has pledged to raise $1 million to support Riley’s neurodevelopmental and behaviors centers initiative, which focuses on providing local community-based screening, diagnosing and treatment for young children with autism and related disorders.

Seaman said the community should “support this vital asset to the youth of Indiana.”

“While out shopping this upcoming weekend, (we hope) locals will plan to visit (these) locations and bring change with them so that they donate to this worthy cause,” said Seaman.

Seaman said for those who can’t make it to the fundraiser, but still want to support the cause, they may send a check to the Wabash Kiwanis Club at P.O. Box 699, Wabash, IN 46992, with “Bucket Brigade” listed in the memo line.

For more information, email eseaman@honeywell foundation.org.

Rob Burgess, Wabash Plain Dealer editor, may be reached by email at rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com.