SLIDE SHOW: Helping others drives community cause for food

Mark Pedeferri started something small and it turned into a nearly 900-pound event. Pedeferri, who lives near Covington, decided to start a food drive in mid-November. He operates The Realty Company with Skyline Properties.

Mark Pedeferri started something small and it turned into a nearly 900-pound event.

Pedeferri, who lives near Covington, decided to start a food drive in mid-November. He operates The Realty Company with Skyline Properties. He has faced his share of problems working in the real estate business during the past few years, but there was a larger picture involved.

In December of 2007 Pedeferri’s brother, Tony, a California Highway Patrolman, was hit by a car during a traffic stop. Tony Pedeferri was paralyzed from below his shoulders. Mark Pedeferri said his brother still has use of his arms.

Despite the tragedy, Mark Pedeferri said, “The community support was amazing. The Camario-Ventura community came out of the woodwork to help. It reminded me how important it is to get involved in the community. Business will come later. I wanted to find a way to give back.”

Mark Pedeferri, his wife Amy and two friends, Jeannine Anstiss and Stefan Vatheuer, also husband and wife, went door to door Nov. 13-15 in the Remington neighborhood near the Druids Glenn Golf Club to collect food for the drive.

“He told us what he was doing and we thought it was so great,” said Anstiss, who lives in Issaquah with her husband. “It was a fantastic, eye-opening experience to see how people react to helping other people.”

Anstiss said people gave “what they could, even those who didn’t have much. Some went into their cupboards and some had three or four bags ready.”

Pedeferri said the group averaged eight pounds of food per household to get to the 900 pounds that was donated to the Maple Valley Food bank.

He said he hopes the effort of his group will inspire other people and businesses to “get back to the roots and get involved with the community.”

Pedeferri is also doing another event for the food bank. Families can get free Santa photographs with a donation to the Maple Valley Food Bank. The event will be 6 to 9 p.m. Monday next door to the food bank at 21415 Renton Maple Valley Rd. S.E. More information is available at freesantapictures.com.