AHWAHNEE — Avery Bunnell, a 16-year-old sophomore at Yosemite High School, is doing his part to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the crisis began, Bunnell, who lives in Ahwahnee, has raised $41,000 for the Madera County Food Bank and $7,000 for Manna House of Oakhurst.
He has also collected some 3,000 KN95 surgical masks for area health care workers and first responders.
Bunnell will be recognized by area officials as he presents the funds and donates the masks at a short ceremony that will take place today (June 5) at 2 p.m. outside the Madera County Food Bank, located at 225 South Pine Street in Madera.
Darbar Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Fresno Sikh Temple helped raise much of those funds under the leadership of Shalinder Singh Dang and representative from the temple will also be in attendance at Friday’s recognition ceremony.
Bill Bunnell, Avery’s father, said the American Petroleum & Convenience Store Association also was a major contributor to his son’s fundraising efforts, donating more than $10,000.
Madera Mayor Andrew Medellin as well as Acting Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue along with representatives of the food bank and other community organizations are expected to attend today’s event.
“The United Way is matching all donations to the Madera Community Food Bank, which should be able to provide over 178,000 much needed meals until the economy recovers and people can go back to feeding themselves,” Bill Bunnell said.
The Madera County Food Bank has been serving Madera County since 1999. The organization partners with with many other area agencies and now runs five thriving programs serving Madera, Chowchilla, Fairmead and all the mountain areas including Raymond, Coarsegold, Oakhurst and North Fork.