■ By Dennis Fletcher / Contributed
More than 100 members of the community showed up recently at the San Jacinto Community Center to enjoy a spaghetti dinner that raised over $2,500. The money went to the Family Service Association (FSA) based in Moreno Valley (www.fsaca.org), that provides food to nine area meal distribution centers. They, in turn, prepare and deliver meals to seniors in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, including the Hemet/San Jacinto area.
Tom Donahue, program administrator for the senior nutrition program at FSA, said, “We were so pleased with the results produced by all the volunteers and were both elated and humbled by the outpouring of support by residents of San Jacinto and Hemet. People came all the way from Riverside to enjoy the spaghetti dinner prepared by the volunteers. The funds will help to provide support for the meal services for seniors at the San Jacinto Community Center.”
Some 130 tickets were pre-sold for the dinner. At the front door, Hector Plancarte, Tim Howe and Stephen Molacek Anton, Jr. sold an additional 25 dinner tickets at $10 each to bring the total sold to over 155 tickets.
The food was prepared by professionals and volunteers in the kitchen at the Community Center, and dished up by three enthusiastic members of Hemet’s Taquitz High School: Abigail Durant (senior), Tiffany Hernandez (senior) and Shelby Durant (sophomore). The students expressed the view that it was nice to have the opportunity to help other local citizens and to be able to give back to their community.
Barbara Blackmore, Joyce Molacek, and Mary Beltran ran the dessert table that sold over 120 sweet offerings that helped to bring the evening’s earning well past the targeted fundraising goal.
Music was provided by Ellen and Nick Burkey on electric keyboard and percussion. They have been playing together for over 35 years and entertained listeners and dancers to familiar tunes from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s.
In addition to the outreach program that provides meals into the homes of seniors in need, the San Jacinto Community Center located at 625 S. Pico Avenue, San Jacinto, CA 92583 951-654-7212 offers hot lunches to seniors 60 and older, Monday – Friday, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The suggested donation is $3. Ellen and Nick are there to entertain diners and occasional dancers every Monday.
The Community Center is open to anyone Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Volunteers are an integral part of the many programs offered at the Community Center that deliver meals to seniors and counseling services to the community. Those interested in volunteering should contact Kathy Knox at FSA at 951-686-1096.
Dennis Fletcher is a writer and author who resides in San Jacinto. He can be reached at Yorkman711@hotmail.com.