Thanks, ‘NASCAR’ Dave

Thanks, ‘NASCAR’ Dave

There are many wonderful residents living in the Tri-state region, but few have made as big a difference as “NASCAR” Dave MacMillan. MacMillan has run the Sunday in the Country Food Drive (SITCFD) for the past 25 years with great success — feeding thousands who would otherwise have gone without during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

In the beginning, MacMillan said he was familiar with problems like food insecurity. He was just entering adulthood and faced the financial issues so many people struggle with throughout life. He knew what it was like to be hungry.

That’s why he founded the food drive. With the donation of two turkeys, courtesy of his wife, Christine, and his mother-in-law, Helen Howard, MacMillan helped two families have the Thanksgiving meal that otherwise would not have been possible.

Since then, the food drive has  grown by leaps and bounds. Over the past 10 years, some 1,200 turkeys have been distributed on the two holidays combined. 

Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, 13 food pantries throughout the Tri-state region are supplied with 13-pound  turkeys, some with dry and canned goods as well. 

In 25 years, nearly $1 million has been raised to purchase turkeys for distribution — amazing considering all of the work is all done by volunteers, led by MacMillan.

But now, after a quarter of a century of planning, organizing and executing, MacMillan has announced he’ll be stepping down from his duties with the food drive.

Well deserved, his retirement marks the end of an era. With his support, which he will continue to lend behind the scenes to a lesser degree, SITCFD will welcome new organizers and hopefully new donors. 

Millerton residents Bill and Colleen Anstett, now taking control of the program, have long volunteered in its operation. The couple has worked aside MacMillan for 21 years. 

They instituted the partnership with Maplebrook School’s post-secondary program, which for 16 years has gone from business to business in the Harlem Valley. Each year, during a single Saturday in November, Maplebrook students have collected upward of $6,000.

That kind of initiative and forward thinking will serve SITCFD well. And the Anstetts know they have some big shoes to fill. They praised MacMillan for his great success in providing holiday meals to so many.

MacMillan, meanwhile, who said he and his wife will likely relocate to Florida after year’s end, will be sorely missed. A regular at civic events and a great supporter of local causes, he has come to represent the best of the Tri-state community.

This paper wants to recognize MacMillan for his many years of selfless giving. He serves as a shining example of what a good citizen should be. We wish him well as he prepares for the next leg of his journey. And, most of all, we thank him. He has made a profound difference in the world, and we’re confident he’ll continue to make his mark wherever life leads him.