Needed distraction meets public good: American images remade.

The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee (DTC) is conducting what it hopes will be a fun online event to help replenish the Town of Ridgefield’s Food Pantry/Emergency Fund.

The contest, which runs through May 15, features six classic American images recreated by Ridgefield residents using only items they possessed in their quarantined homes. Members of the public are invited to “vote” for their favorite recreated images by clicking on an image and contributing to the Ridgefield Food Bank/Emergency Fund.

Each image is linked to a unique online contribution form so that contributions and dollars per image can be totaled to determine contest winners. The image creators donated their efforts solely for fun, bragging rights, and the satisfaction of helping neighbors in need.

The contest arose in response to Town of Ridgefield Social Service Director Tony Phillips, LCSW, early April announcement of the Police Benevolent Association’s “Push-Ups for the Pantry” program and his call to other local organizations to sponsor similar fundraising initiatives. After brief brainstorming, the DTC decided to answer the call by capitalizing on the recent online trend of ordinary people recreating famous images in their homes, and making it as a contest to raise funds for the Food Pantry/Emergency Fund.

The six recreated images can be viewed at: ridgefielddems.net/recreated-images-food-pantry/.

Each photo links to the online contribution platform operated by the Friends of Ridgefield Community Programs Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization that manages all fundraising for the Ridgefield Food Pantry/Emergency Fund (and other local charities).

Proceeds to pantry

Friends of Ridgefield will distribute all proceeds directly to the Food Pantry/Emergency Fund.

The DTC has no visibility into the contribution platform or contributors, which is handled entirely by the Friends of Ridgefield. The DTC merely solicited contestants to recreate images, set up the contest display page with links to the wholly separate Friends’ contribution platform, and is promoting the fundraiser through email, social media, and other public relations efforts.

The need in Ridgefield is considerable, according to town Social Services Director Phillips.

“With so much added stress with so many home and unable to work in the past six weeks, Ridgefield Social Services is responding to an increase in needs for help with food, rent and other essential expenses,” Phillips said. “We greatly appreciate any and all efforts to help us meet these needs. We invite other local organizations to consider sponsoring similar events to help raise funds for local relief.”

DTC Chair Joseph Shapiro said DTC members were extremely enthusiastic to sponsor the contest. “Our members are active in the community and were thrilled to find this means to serve the public during quarantine.” Shapiro said.

“Unlike all other forms of voting we encourage, there are no limits on how often a person may ‘vote,’ the number of images for which they may ‘vote,’ nor the amounts they may contribute. So, please visit ridgefielddems.net/recreated-images-food-pantry, and ‘vote’ generously in this contest by clicking on the images and contributing as much as you can to aid those in need in our community.”