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Rotary Club of Front Royal Distributes 120 Boxes of Food to Local Families

13 January 2019 Front Royal/Warren County Community

Club Members assist with filling Doc Smith baskets (boxes) with food for families in need in the Front Royal-Warren County community

The Rotary Club of Front Royal distributed 120 boxes of food to needy families through its “Doc Smith” Christmas Basket Program.  On Friday, December 21, 2018 volunteers from the Rotary Club helped pack up donated food items into gift boxes that were either picked up or delivered on Saturday, December 22, 2018.

According to Doc Smith Committee Chairman Bret Hrbek, “The goal of the Doc Smith Christmas Basket Program is to provide basic food staples to families in need in the community to make sure they can have a traditional Christmas dinner.  This year the Club, in partnership with the Warren County Department of Social Services, was able to add 87 winter coats through the Coats for Kids program to provide to children of the recipients.”  According to Hrbek, the addition of coats is a return to the origins of the Doc Smith program where, in addition to food, the recipients were provided clothes and toys as needed.

The Doc Smith Baskets included the following items:

·        Ham or Turkey ·        Bag of Flour
·        Bread ·        Bag of Sugar
·        Stuffing Mix ·        Canned Vegetables
·        Jelly ·        Miscellaneous Items

The Doc Smith program has been a long-standing program in Front Royal.  It was originated by Edgar C. Smith, Chief of Police, in 1916 who was most commonly referred to as Doc Smith.  The program was named after him based on his continued service to the needy.  This program typically services 100-175 families throughout Warren County. A local Sorority (Psi Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority) had coordinated this program for approximately 30 years (1973-2003).  The Sorority approached the Rotary Club of Front Royal in 2003 about the possibility of taking over this program, and the Club gladly did so.

Chairman Hrbek added, “I really want to thank all of those who donated food items, cash and/or their time for the project.  Through this project we have directly impacted the lives of approximately 350 people in our community this year.”

The list of donors includes:

  • Edward Jones                                      
  • C-Cap         
  • Main Street Market
  • Royal Cinemas
  • United Methodist Women    
  • Dr. Chuck Huber
  • Timmy & Jimmy Maddox  
  • Beta Sigma Phi Sorority
  • Doug Stanley
  • Susan Hrbek
  • Jessica, Noah, Annie, Hunter, and Luke Hrbek
  • Clients of Edward Jones
  • Warren County Department of Social Services
  • Front Royal United Methodist Church
  • Little Chapel Baptist Church
  • The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
  • Warren County Parks & Recreation
  • Members of the Rotary Club of Front Royal
  • Warren County High School & Middle School Interact Clubs

According to current Club President Kym Crump, “The Doc Smith Basket Program is one of the more exciting and personally fulfilling projects that we work on each year.  On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to personally thank our Committee Chairman Bret Hrbek and each of the volunteers for putting in the time and effort to help make Christmas a little brighter for 120 families in the Front Royal-Warren County community.  We were especially excited to be able to include the coats again this year to help make Christmas a little warmer for those in need in our community.”

Members of the Warren County Middle School Interact Club

Winter Coats ready for distribution



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