116,000 pounds and counting

Canathon wraps up, collecting tons of food for area pantries

WLUC-TV6 Co-anchor Sophie Erber, left, and Chief Meteorologist Karl Bohnak interview United Steel Workers Local 4950 member Callie Ruohomaki about the group’s donation to the 37th annual Canathon. In the background, volunteers and station employees can be seen weighing cans and loading the goods into a Salvation Army truck. Roughly 116,000 pounds of food were brought to the station Wednesday night for the Canathon, which gathers non-perishable foods from counties all across the Upper Peninsula. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE– Roughly 116,000 pounds of food were delivered and weighed at the WLUC-TV6 station in Negaunee Township Wednesday night, ending the 37th annual Canathon.

WLUC-TV6 Creative Services Manager and Canathon Director Scott Zerbel said they still have a number of places to pick up from.

“Hopefully by the end of the week, if not next week, we will have the final totals,” Zerbel said.

The event was launched Nov. 12 and concluded with a one-hour commercial-free program on WLUC-TV6 Wednesday night.

“I think one of the most important groups involved with the Canathon every year is all the schools and the kids that are involved,” Zerbel said. “There are 75 schools throughout the U.P. and literally hundreds, if not thousands, of kids that participate. As far as I’m concerned, it is a good learning lesson for them and it’s a good way to help out their neighbor.”

Callie Ruohomaki, a member of the United Steelworkers Local 4950, helped to deliver the group’s donation and load it into a Salvation Army truck Wednesday night.

“No one should worry about putting food on the table, especially during the holidays,” Ruohomaki said.

Food raised in each locality of the U.P. is kept in the same area for distribution through their respective local food pantries.

“It’s always great to see the people of the Upper Peninsula come together and give,” Zerbel said.