YUMA, Ariz. - Yuma community leaders, friends and family gathered Friday for a special celebration of life in honor of Mike Ivers, the former president and CEO of the Yuma Community Food Bank.
Ivers helped feed thousands of families across Yuma County during his time with the food bank.
A mass was held for Ivers Friday at St. Francis Church in Yuma.
Friends and family members talked about Ivers' energy and love for the Yuma community as well as for the area's less fortunate people. They spoke about his paper plate tradition as a reflection of his love for every individual.
Bishop Gerald Kicanas with the Diocese of Tucson said, "He [Mike Ivers] was always so proud of those paper plates. And especially the words that were written there by the people that were helped by the community food bank. And if you had a moment to spare, he would want to read you as many of those paper plates as you could endure because those words meant so much to him."
Mary Palmisano, Ivers' sister, said, "I feel like what he brought down here to Yuma, and what he did down here to Yuma, was worth us missing him in Chicago."
A celebration of life was held after the mass at the Yuma Community Food Bank. Ivers and his wife moved to Yuma from Chicago. He started working for the Yuma Community Food Bank in December 2011.
Ivers passed away in October from Pancreatic Cancer. He was 74 years old.