Labor Day Tenderloin Festival originators donate money for Micro Pantry

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The originators of the Labor Day Tenderloin Festival and Pun crawl met with Bulldog’s owners Doug and Lori Snell Saturday to donate $500 for their Micro Pantry in the name of Marianne Rowatt Divora, the woman who came up with the idea when they started in 2012.

“Bulldog’s is always our first stop,” said John Eby, who, along with Divora and Mary Ann Neuman, was on the steering committee. “They’ve always been generous in welcoming us to their space.”

Divora passed away in February of 2018.

The Labor Day Tenderloin Festival and Pun Crawl ran from 2012 through 2016, and then again in 2018.

The money was raised by selling merchandise on their Facebook page, which helped them collect the money to donate.

“Marianne was the originator of the idea for the tenderloin festival,” Eby said. “She was our heart and soul. We’re making the donation in her name because she loved to feed people, and we’re all about food.”

Doug said they started their Micro Pantry in January 2019 during the Polar Vortex; it’s been extremely active since then.

“It gets filled every day,” Snell said. “People from OSF, US Foods and the La Salle Nuclear Plant have come in and filled it with a bunch of food. It’s more than just them. It’s a community effort.”

The pantry sits next to Bulldog’s drive up window and operates on a “take what you need, leave what you can” basis, offering a number of canned and boxed foods.

Eby said he is hoping the timing can be right for a meetup based around their love of tenderloins at a later date.

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