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Harry K Foundation hires executive director

Stephanie Manning-Roash focused on fundraising
September 14, 2017
Stephanie Manning-Roash of Lewes is the new executive director for the Harry K Foundation. SUBMITTED PHOTO

In 2013, Rehoboth Beach businessman Harry Keswani established the Harry K Foundation to help end childhood hunger and poverty in Sussex County.

Since then, the foundation has grown into a major fundraising force for the Food Bank of Delaware, helping feed children across the state through pantries and school backpack programs.

“We are working very hard, and the foundation has grown,” said Keswani.

Keswani said the group supports 30 school-based pantries that help with more than 500 backpack programs which send home food with students on the weekend. In 2016, he said, the foundation provided 66,000 meals through the backpack program. More than 1 million pounds of food was purchased for the school pantries, he said.

With money from a Longwood Foundation grant, the foundation recently hired its first executive director – Stephanie Manning-Roash, a board member who has experience fundraising for Harry K Foundation.

“There is such a need, and I wanted to help,” she said. “Harry was doing so much on his own. I think having a full-time director will help bring everything together.”

As executive director, Manning-Roash said she will coordinate with pantry operators to make sure they have everything they need, in addition to her fundraising work.

Already, she has begun organizing for the annual Harry K Foundation Christmas Ball, the major fundraiser of the year. “We're proud of all the support we got from area hospitals and businesses, and we look forward to the upcoming ball,” she said.

She is looking for a volunteer to chair a silent auction for the gala and welcomes applicants. Anyone interested can contact Gala Chair Donna Winegar at dwinegar@brandycare.com.

Other fundraisers include a 5K race and the chocolate festival. With money raised throughout the year, Manning-Roash said the foundation hopes to expand the number of Harry K school pantries to 40 and sponsor another 100 backpack programs.

A Lewes resident, Manning-Roash previously worked as executive director of the Amerian Heart Assocation in Delaware from 2009-13, and before that she worked as director of sales for the Sheraton Hotel of Dover.

Keswani said he nominated Manning-Roash for the executive director position because of her experience and drive.

“She sees the work is needed. No child should go to bed hungry,” he said.

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