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The Woman “Who Doesn’t Know What ‘No’ Means”

By Andrea Hine Community Kitchen Volunteer

Lucky Fortune, whose owners (the husband-and-wife team of Rong Lei and Cui Xin Xu) are shown above, was the first local restaurant to sign up for the May 6th Aloha fundraiser to benefit the Community Kitchen. Executive Director Kim Hafermalz (second from right) and volunteer Lori Henry are also pictured.

The La Pine Community Kitchen, which has been serving hot meals for 17 years, has a straightforward objective: “Nutritious food is important for health and well-being, and appropriate clothing is important for dignity and self-worth. Families in our community who find themselves not able to provide these basic needs for themselves can rely on us.”

Numbers for 2016 speak to the success of its three departments:
• The Hot Meal program served 17,500 hot, nutritious meals.
• The Produce Stand distributed 231,000 pounds of fresh, donated food.
• The Clothes Closet provided 38,000 items of clothing/bedding, cleaning/hygiene supplies, and homeless bags and gear.

“The Kitchen is funded exclusively on grants and local donations,” explained Kim Hafermalz, Executive Director since April 2014. “So from the beginning of my tenure, I’ve spent time actively seeking both local and national grants to pay for program and maintenance expenses. But I also came to realize that in order to have a solid base, it was necessary to build community relationships and encourage local giving (which is unrestricted in how the monies can be used).” A partial list of partnerships Hafermalz has attracted and nurtured includes: Department of Human Services (DHS), Work Source and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), Saint Vincent de Paul, the Boy Scouts, the La Pine Community Center, the Grange, and Newberry Habitat’s ReSTORE.

La Pine’s ex-Mayor Ken Mulenex praised Hafermalz’s impact – both in terms of overall accomplishments and improving the Kitchen’s image in Southern Deschutes County. “Kim turned the place around, and garnered respect throughout Central Oregon. She’s a classy lady who doesn’t know what ‘no’ means. The organization’s strength is directly connected with her leadership.”

COMMUNITY KITCHEN Spring Fundraiser Set for May 6th

Memories of the harsh winter may be fading as spring comes into its own, but the thought of a night in the Hawaiian Islands never goes out of season. Add the appeal of appetizers, beverages and samples of their signature dishes being offered by an array of local restaurants, and this one-time-only special event becomes irresistible.

Join us in saying “Aloha and Thank You” to Kim Hafermalz (aka ‘Kim from the Kitchen”) on Saturday, May 6, 5-7 p.m. at the Community Center. This farewell celebration and spring fundraiser will benefit the La Pine Community Kitchen, where Hafermalz has served as Executive Director for three resoundingly successful years – bringing acclaim to this nonprofit from throughout Central Oregon.

Tickets, $25/single and $40/couple, can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce’s Visitors Center, and through the Community Kitchen website (www.lapinecommunitykitchen.org). Check flyers posted throughout La Pine for further details.


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