On May 26, 2018, Meals On Wheels Walkathon & Festival Fundraiser will be held at the Rim Country Senior/Community (RCSC). The goal is to raise $10,000 to help with the ongoing expenses of operating a five day a week kitchen providing meals to seniors who need a little help in our community.
The volunteers at the Rim Country Senior/Community Center who deliver the Meals on Wheels are a very special group of dedicated people. No matter the weather, five days a week, you’ll find them doing their job. And it is all volunteer. They are all in agreement about why they like to serve our community with the Meals on Wheels program. They said, “It’s about coming back to community”, “It’s people helping people,” and “It’s more than just meals” are just a few of the reasons. RCSC currently has six to seven drivers available to deliver meals; some full time and some part time.
As I sat with Dick Blomgren, Center Board President and four of the drivers this morning, I heard some interesting stories. One in particular was about a man in need of hearing aids and was about to pay $9,000 that he really couldn’t afford. Because Mark Allen took time to listen and knew he was a veteran he was able to help him. Mark contacted Joe Juharos, Veteran’s Service Officer at the American Legion Post 86 and now this man is being supplied with new hearing aids for no cost.
Phyllis Ault and Sherry Conrad drive together delivering meals and say they are living their dream now that they are settled in Heber-Overgaard. They love giving back to their community delivering meals and getting to know all the people on their route. They say it is community and companionship for them as well.
Vienna Davis, a member of RCSC single handedly has collected $1400 for the Meals on Wheels Walkathon Fundraiser & Festival on May 26 by directly approaching citizens in our community for support. She is one of those special people who never knows a stranger.
Branden Welsch has contributed many hours of community service at RCSC over the years. He shared his story with me today about receiving a DUI seven years ago as he was driving through Forest Lakes with his five-year-old daughter in the car with him while intoxicated. He was given a stiff sentence of 100 days in the Holbrook jail, three years probation, 18 months Drug Court in Show Low, 360 hours of community service, three AA meetings per week, Show up every Wednesday to the Judge in Show Low and 52 OIP meetings.
Branden said it was the toughest thing he has done in life besides losing his father, his best friend to cancer. At the time this happened, he had the world by the tail. He was the youngest General Contractor to attain his license at the age of 21. When his father died too soon of bone cancer he was devastated but didn’t want his father to suffer any more and the day he passed away Branden was holding him in his arms and began praying to God that he would take his father so he wouldn’t suffer anymore. At that very moment his father passed and Branden said he was a ‘Believer’ and now prays every morning and every night. Branden’s father left him everything; a beautiful home and all the things he would need in life. He decided it was time to “man up and do things right”. It appears he has done just that and will graduate two years sober June 13th. To settle his community debt with the courts he is providing a meal free to the public May 5th from 10am -1pm. The menu is 75 Brats, 75 Burgers with all the fixin’s, chips and drinks. So, all come and enjoy and share your stories with Branden. Take a look at the beautifully crafted wooden bench he made to auction off at the Empty Pantry Dinner.
Through volunteers, fund raising, donations, Addie’s thrift store, Meals on Wheels, daily lunches and NACOG funding we have a strong community center that is able to help our veterans and senior citizens in need. The Center’s monthly calendar is always full with scheduled events, exercise classes, fund raising events and now 1st Tuesday Talks. So, don’t miss out and stay tuned for all the fun this summer at our Rim Country Community Center. If we all pitch in for one day on May 26th, as a community we can help meet the $10,000 goal for these hardworking volunteers who give to those less fortunate every day of the week.