MAIN PHOTO: Molly Smith, Janice Smith, and Deanna Smith stand by some of the food collected in the first 90 minutes of the memorial food drive. (Healey photo)

ELMSDALE: Susie McDonell was a ray of sunshine to everyone she met.

So, it was only fitting that rays of sun beamed down on the volunteers who organized and were helping out at a drive-thru food drive for the Caring & Sharing Angel Tree Food Bank in her memory on Nov. 7 at the parking lot at Curly’s in Enfield.

The food drive, held in the parking lot at Curly’s in Enfield, was organized by Janice Smith, a niece of Susie who said it only made sense to do it for Caring & Sharing, something that was near and dear to Susie’s heart.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Susie’s sister Deanna Smith.

“The turnout has been wonderful,” added niece Janice Smith.

McDonell had a passion for the Caring & Sharing food bank, so her family setup the food drive, which followed all COVID19-related precautions and guidelines.

Smith said they collected $8,780 in monetary and gift cards for Caring and Sharing, while delivering four half-tonne trucks worth of food from the food drive.

The volunteers even had food donated to them to ensure they had the energy for the food drive from Cup of Soul in Elmsdale. They provided coffee and cinnamon rolls to the volunteers, which Janice wanted to thank them for supplying.

Janice said Susie was the type of person who was giving.

“Food was her life, she had a business, she had dinner parties, cooking classes, and she worked at the food bank every year,” said Janice.

The food as delivered from Susie’s memorial food drive. (Submitted photo)

Molly Smith, Susie’s great niece, said Susie loved food and giving back to those less fortunate.

“Food was her passion and helping others was her passion,” said Molly.

The three said East Hants was showing “enSUSIEasm” (a word that Susie’s friend Louise Parked used) in their support.

“Absolutely, without a doubt they’re showing that,” said Molly.

Janice was amazed at the amount of food that had been dropped in just the first 90 minutes of the drive-thru food drive.

“It has exceeded our expectations already,” said Smith. “People have been very generous. It’s been a success.”

She felt that the food bank would be wowed at what they see when the group dropped off the food they collected.

“They’re going to be surprised with the amount of food we bring them,” she said.

“They’ll be ecstatic, I would say,” added Molly.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of many.

“We want to thank everyone that was involved in helping us and making this an astounding success,” said Janice. “Susie would be very proud.”

And knowing Susie, she sure would be, and maybe that’s why the sun beamed down with a little more warmth on this day. It was Susie showing how proud she was.