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Lancaster resident raises thousands for food pantry

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
May 20, 2020
LANCASTER — With unemployment at an all time high and families struggling to pay bills and simply eat, the local food pantries have been cleaned out almost as soon as they are stocked. Families that have never had to rely on public assistance, now find themselves in a desperate situation. One Lancaster resident, Erik Becker has used his long rock and roll styled beard for a good cause, and he has yet again delivered. This time raising roughly $5,000 for the local food pantry.

Becker explained, "For the first $2,200 I put out there that I was doing another shave for a cause like I did last year, but couldn't do it quite the same because Loudfests 10th Anniversary has been postponed."

Becker went on to tell the Democrat, "I saw the great things they were doing locally from the Lancaster school in terms of getting food out to kids. I know from working with students in the past that food insecurity is something that has effected students so I wanted to do something to add to what they were doing."

The good Samaritan says he also had an anonymous sponsor step up and pledge to match dollar for dollar up to $1,100.

"I know everyone's effected by this so the support was even more amazing. I'm working out the logistics of getting all the snack items locally without cleaning any one place out and causing anyone to not be able to get what they need," he said.

The other $2,500 came about when a good friend of Beckers, Alec Russell, approached him and offered to do a charity stream on Twitch. For those that don't know what that is, it's a platform for people to watch and interact with a gamer while they are playing online.

Becker said, "We gave it a shot. He did an amazing job rallying people and putting together rewards and things for the 18 hour stream. I got to sit in an interact for most of it, it was kind of like being on a radio show. We talked and interacted with people as they came and went all day and night and all his followers could hear. It was a blast."

Of the fundraiser, Russell said, "Giving back and helping others is always something I've felt driven to do. This platform allows me to do so in ways that I never thought I could. The choice was easy, to be able to provide for a local cause that I've always supported during this time of need really hits home for me."

Russell added, "I've known Becker for quite some time and he is just such a genuine guy, always looking to help others and I saw the opportunity so I took it. I cannot take all the credit though I may have organized and set it up but there are numerous Twitch partners who played a large role as well as the lead singer of 'We Came as Romans' in bringing people in to help. Waking up the following morning I had never felt happier in my entire life and I cannot wait to link up with Black Crow Project again for future fundraisers."

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