Getting ready to over flow the Opera House

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BELLOWS FALLS — Peter Case, "Fish," wants to help feed Windham County.

Case is the operation manager at WKVT and is the vice president of the board of directors for Groundworks Collaborative.

After Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, staff at WKVT came up with an idea to fill each seat of the Latchis's main theater with food. Seven years later, Case said, they've successfully filled the seats every year. But why stop at the Latchis? Case brought his idea to Bellows Falls four years ago.

"We saw a need for it," he said.

He swapped out the Latchis for the Bellows Falls Opera House and Groundworks Collaborative for Our Place Drop in Center.

Overflow the Opera House has been successful in the past at filling all 550 seats in the Opera House, according to Case.

This is the first year Overflow the Opera House is asking for perishable food.

"The drum of non-perishable has been beaten so frequently that it's almost automatic," Case said.

At Load the Latchis, 100 bags of perishable food were donated. Case asks that people consider giving veggies from their garden if they can swing it.

Non-perishable items are also encouraged, as are cash donations. In particular, Case is calling for peanut butter, tuna fish, pasta, boxed meals, canned meats, canned fruits, canned vegetables, personal hygiene products and diapers.

This year is also the first time that WKVT is partnering with Black Sheep Radio (WOOL) radio. WOOL is a local community based radio station.

"[Bellows Falls] is a tight-knit community, which is why we've partnered with WOOL," Case said.

On Wednesday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., WOOL DJs will be sitting outside the Opera House and broadcasting live from the event.

Melissa Berry-Brown, a member of the WOOL board of directors, said there will be three DJs at the scene, including Robert Osbourne and Mark Piepkorn, along with some volunteers. In the past WOOL has had a critical role in publicizing the event, but their role hadn't expanded beyond that.

Berry-Brown said she was delighted when Case reached out to the station.

"We had to jump on it," she said. "We like to get out in the community."

Case is most excited about the new collaboration, and personally working with WOOL's DJs.

"I'm looking forward to a great day and helping out some people in need," he said.

Overflow the Opera House will be taking donations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bellows Falls Opera House.

Harmony Birch can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext.153. Or you can follow her @birchharmony.

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