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Hunger is not a game

“The Hunger Games” premiere attendees receive free popcorn by supporting the Army’s emergency food 

: (l-r) Envoy Gary Dobney, Brenda Zepeda, Sierra Allen, Louis Lujan Photo by: Gabriel Madrigal

Envoys Gary and Evie Dobney, in-charge at The Salvation Army Victor Valley (Calif.) Corps, joined forces with UltraStar Cinemas in Apple Valley, Calif., to take advantage of the premiere of the hit movie, “The Hunger Games,” by sponsoring a food drive March 23-30 to combat hunger in the area. It  brought in 192 items and $529 for the emergency food pantry at the corps.

The idea was the brainchild of Brenda Zepeda, a theater manager. “When UltraStar began thinking of sponsoring a food drive during the opening week of ‘The Hunger Games,’ I immediately thought of The Salvation Army,” said Zepeda, who had worked with the Army on a previous dinner and movie event.

UltraStar promoted the event in local media, in advertisements and in its lobby. Moviegoers who contributed a food item (or a monetary donation) received a voucher for free popcorn. The Salvation Army set up a table, a collection barrel and a Red Kettle stand in the lobby.

“What a fantastic opportunity to provide a way for community members to help their hungry neighbors,” Gary Dobney said. “And for one whole week a uniformed Salvationist was allowed to not only ring a bell in the lobby, but to share the love of Jesus with those we engaged in conversation.”

The Salvation Army also distributed 150 copies of the Easter War Cry with an invitation to attend Easter services.

“UltraStar hopes to continue to partner with The Salvation Army in the future to help those in the Victor Valley who need the most help,” Zepeda said.

Envoys Dobney are accepted candidates of the Disciples of the Cross Session of cadets, and will report to the College for Officer Training at Crestmont in August.

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