2024 is IFCS’ 60th anniversary! This is a celebratory time as we prepare for the highly anticipated Nibbles & Sips gala, which will take place on February 24, 2024 from 5:00-8:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center.
“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.” Nibbles & Sips embodies this quote by Michael Broadbent. For over a decade, this fundraising gala has been a food and beverage tasting event that includes over fifty restaurant and alcohol tasting stations. Each year, hundreds of people attend for a “hoot of a good time” and to support One Can Feed, IFCS’ hunger alleviation campaign. This year, IFCS is celebrating six decades strong in the community, serving millions of people since 1964. This milestone is a celebration of the continuing support of donors and volunteers who partner with IFCS to make this work possible. In this blog entry, I’d like to introduce you to someone whose support goes back as far as IFCS’ origins.
Meet Debby Doig, a Colorado native who learned about IFCS when she was a sophomore in high school. While attending Arapahoe High School, Debby was a schoolmate of the daughter of Maida Navis, the woman who began what is today IFCS. When Debby learned about the work her classmate’s mom was doing to support those in need, she knew she also wanted to be a part of helping others in this way. Debby told me that in class and during lunch, her friend would tell all who would listen about her mom’s hard work to get this non-profit up and running. Maida recognized that traditional human service resources were not serving community area residents and, with the help of several others who were passionate about helping people in need, IFCS was born. Debby remembers listening to Maida’s daughter – who was proud of her mom – and hoping the organization would ‘take off’. Well, take off it did!
Debby’s next real connection to IFCS came in 1997 when she joined Highlands Ranch Rotary Club (HRRC). A service organization with the motto “Service Above Self,” the Rotary Club is an international organization with 34,000 groups around the world. Rotary Clubs thrive on financial giving to local organizations and hands-on involvement. HRRC selected IFCS as a beneficiary of their service and support, and has sponsored the IFCS food bank and clothing bank since its early days. When Debby joined the club in 1989, she was thrilled to find out IFCS was still a successful non-profit helping people in the community. “Reconnecting with IFCS after so much time was like meeting a long-lost friend,” she said.
Debby shared that back then, the South Metro Area was much smaller, and Highlands Ranch did not yet exist. Englewood, which was at the outskirts of the Denver Metro area, was where IFCS landed – and still serves people in its community and beyond. Today, IFCS serves all the Denver Metro communities; some program participants come from as far as Fairplay and other mountain towns.
The Highlands Ranch Rotary Club is very active in supporting IFCS with fundraising and volunteering. Club members participate in financial giving as well as hands-on help at The Market @ IFCS once a month, the seasonal meal distribution event called Fresh Thanks, and the annual Nibbles & Sips event where they sponsor two tables.
When you attend Nibbles & Sips look for the members of the Highlands Ranch Rotary Club; they have so many great stories to tell! It would be nice to hear about the club’s history, how it has grown, and their relationship with IFCS. In addition to group service activities, many HRRC members also volunteer individually for various needs at IFCS. They know that their time and donations make a transformative difference for people that don’t have as much. Their mutual partnership started almost 40 years ago and is still going strong.
Debby is a part of the legacy of “essential ingredients” that keeps IFCS up and running: she and others who share her passion continue the work that Maida Navis began 60 years ago. Now serving as Foundation chairperson for HRRC, Debby says, “We know our dollars and our time make such a difference. And isn’t that what most of us involved in community service want to be able to do?”
We want to thank Debby Doig for her continued passion for service, and we invite you also to be a part of IFCS’ legacy and “essential ingredients.” People who care about community will find good company at IFCS, and with the need for food assistance growing all around us, every gift makes such a difference!
Join us if you can at Nibbles & Sips – it is always a great evening full of inspiration, and a chance to meet new friends. Please come and celebrate IFCS’ 60th anniversary of partnership with the community!
Kathryn Adams is a Nurse Freelance Writer who started out her career as a Firefighter EMT-B then RN and has transitioned to professional writing. She started volunteering with IFCS in 2018 because she has a passion to help others. When she isn’t writing she enjoys hiking, yoga, skiing, and traveling. She lives with her husband, dog and kitty in the Colorado Mountains.