Annual event helps fund educational programs in the San Jacinto School District
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Burgers are pretty ubiquitous by now, even with restaurants across the world each offering their take on the flattened meat patty on a bun. But when that hot sandwich helps enrich a kid’s education, it becomes extraordinary. That’s what the San Jacinto Unified School District and the San Jacinto Community Builders have worked to achieve with their annual Community Builders’ Burger Bash.
Held annually at North Mountain Middle School on the second Saturday of March, the Burger Bash held on Mar. 9 repeated the traditions maintained in previous Burger Bashes. This time, however, the bash was dedicated in memory of Sandy VanDerLinden, a longtime member of the community builders and a 1967 graduate of San Jacinto High School who passed away in February.
Proceeds from every bash benefits San Jacinto students through funds contributed to district programs in need of funding. The effort is headed by Community Builders Chair Lynn Peterson: “We get together with the district [superintendent] and find out who needs help. Who didn’t get a grant? Or who’s a new group who’s not on the school rolls yet to get money? We find that group [funding], that’s who we donate money to.”
In the past, such funding has included scholarships for graduating students, uniforms and equipment for the SJHS band, and other programs providing.
The Burger Bash is staffed entirely by Community Builders’ volunteers, with students from San Jacinto schools giving up their day off to serve food to those present.
Those who paid seven dollars for the opportunity got a burger with their choice of toppings, their choice of drinks and a dessert of their choice. Peterson says roughly 300 to 400 patrons show up each year.
Grocery Outlet chipped in to the bash not only with gift cards to be raffled off, but also with what they do best – fresh ingredients like veggies and buns. Whether you like tomato, lettuce, pickles or onions, now you know who to thank for this year’s burger toppings. Clifford Knox Meats provided the burger patties, which Peterson describes as tasting “exceptionally well.”
While present at the Bash, patrons could also buy spree knick-knacks for house and home. If that isn’t incentive enough, patrons could also buy raffle tickets to possibly win prizes donated by local businesses. One such prize was a pair of Disneyland/California Adventure park-hopper tickets!
In case you missed the bash, the Community Builders is always working to help improve San Jacinto. “We would love to have new members!” Peterson says. If you’re interested in becoming one, or just want more information, the Community Builders meet at the San Jacinto Museum at 695 West Ash Street every third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m.