Club, churches collaborate to serve community dinner
by Anne Marie Fuller
Dec 03, 2013 | 3747 views | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Boys and Girls Clubs Thanksgiving
Youth volunteers Jaikari Lamison, 15, and Juliana Schobey, 17, help serve free Thanksgiving dinners for nearly 300 community members Monday, Nov. 25, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy Richard O. Hastie Clubhouse. Anne Marie Fuller/For the Tracy Press
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Nearly 300 people showed up Monday evening, Nov. 25, for a free Thanksgiving dinner at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy’s Richard O. Hastie Clubhouse on West Lowell Avenue,

More than 35 volunteers helped dish up traditional holiday food, including members of the Keystone Club, a youth group within the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy.

“I’m serving tonight to be helpful to those in our community,” said Juliana Schobey, 17, a youth volunteer.

Nichelle James, 19, youth professional and Keystone leader, wants to see the meal become a local tradition.

“This event goes toward the National Keystone Club Project and focuses on hunger in Tracy and those in need,” James said. “This is our first year doing this. It wouldn’t have happened without the help from my Keystone kids. My hopes are that this goes well and everyone wants to come back next year.”

The volunteers helped set up and man 27 food tables and 10 serving tables. On the menu were turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, rolls and pumpkin pie.

“This event corresponds with family week with our Keystone Club,” said John Norman, unit director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tracy. “We started out by wanting to help out in the community. This event is a membership outreach that helps build the community.”

Second Harvest Food Bank in Manteca donated 20 turkeys for the meal. Valley Community Baptist Church and Solid Rock Christian Center contributed the traditional Thanksgiving sides.

Nina Militaru, a guest at Monday’s meal, said she had never been to the Boys & Girls Clubs before, but she planned to return.

“I heard about this Thanksgiving dinner from my mom,” Militaru said. “I enjoy seeing the smiling faces from the children that are helping serve the food. Next year, I would like to help at the event by volunteering. This has been a well-organized event, and the food is great.”

Also among the guests at the clubhouse Monday evening was a local boy celebrating his seventh birthday.

“Today is my birthday,” said Fabian Avila, smiling. “I am 7. I like my dinner. It’s good.”

The Boys and Girls Club of Tracy offers many programs for local young people. For information, visit or call 832-2582.

• Contact the Tracy Press newsroom at 835-3030 or

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