Ed Morgan found himself with some extra funds recently. What with 50/50 raffles at the two bars he owns in Dracut – Joker’s Lounge and The Rally Cap Pub – and some extra dough he picked up renting out Joker’s parking lot earlier this year, he had over $1,500 saved up.
The next step for the charity-minded business owner was to find a proper place for the money.
Luckily, Dracut has no shortage of folks who do good deeds. Ed decided to donate the money to the Dracut Food Pantry, mainly in memory of a former employee, Karen Courtemanche, who volunteered for the pantry and passed away in 2019.
“Our customers like to help the community,” Ed said. “They like to give back. And Karen did a lot of work for the food pantry.”
Both Joker’s Lounge, at 135 Stewart Street, and The Rally Cap, at 95 Pleasant Street, held 50/50 raffles at Christmas time, with half of the proceeds going to the winner and half set aside for charity.
And earlier this year, the producers of “Ted,” a new comedy series that is a prequel to the 2012 movie of the same name, filmed a scene for the show at Alexander’s Pharmacy, around the corner from Joker’s. When the crew needed a large parking lot to accommodate all the vehicles, they rented Joker’s lot for $500.
That money combined with the raffles brought Ed’s grand total to $1,555. On Sunday, July 30, Ed and his daughter, Ashley McLuin, who manages Joker’s Lounge, handed over two checks to Everett Penney, a member of the Dracut Food Pantry’s Board of Directors.
Everett has been involved with the food pantry since its creation in 2007, and was more than happy to accept the donations.
“That’s amazing,” he said after accepting the checks. “The food pantry serves 120 to 125 families per month, and this will be put to very good use.”
The Dracut Food Pantry offers several programs to help feed those who need assistance, including:
- A voucher program that offers $10 off to local farms, including Farmer Dave’s, Saja Farm and Shaw Farm.
- Assist St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen in Lowell with feeding the city’s homeless.
- A monthly meal at the Dracut Senior Center.
- Food pickups twice a month for Dracut residents who qualify at the pantry’s home in Beaver Brook Mill, 1934 Lakeview Avenue.
The food pantry is open to the public on the fourth Saturday of each month, from 9-11 a.m., and the following Monday. The next dates are August 26 and August 28.
“We’re getting a lot of young families these days,” Everett said. “People with three or four kids who are spending 200 to 300 dollars every time they go to the supermarket.”
For more information on the Dracut Food Pantry, visit https://dracutfoodpantry.com.
Joker’s Lounge and The Rally Cap Pub are open every day from noon-2 a.m.
They’ll both celebrate major milestones in 2024 – Joker’s will turn 30 and The Rally Cap will turn 20.