Escalon Times - - FRONT PAGE - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com TIMES PHO­TOS BY MARG JACK­SON

Shown is the group of stu­dents – mostly Escalon High School se­niors – that vol­un­teered Satur­day to help with the 2017 Sober Grad tri-tip drive thru din­ner, earn­ing some credit for the pur­chase of their event ticket. The stu­dents are, back row from left: Re­becca Tag­gart, Zack Gardner, Rachael Towner, Casey Turner and CJ Gumbs. Front row from left: Natalie Bianchi, Danielle Lawrence, Lexi Wheeler and fresh­man Hunter Wheeler.

Skies were gen­er­ally clear for the start of bar­be­cu­ing dozens of tri tips on Satur­day morn­ing, but in­ter­mit­tent rain still fell dur­ing the day, mak­ing for a some­what soggy Sober Grad fundraiser.

Nev­er­the­less, sev­eral Escalon High School se­niors helped out at the event, which saw driv­ers pull up curb­side at El Por­tal Mid­dle School and have a full tri tip din­ner for four delivered to their ve­hi­cles.

Co-co­or­di­na­tor Deb­bie Leal said go­ing into the event on Satur­day, they had sold 180 tick­ets so still had some din­ners avail­able. Sev­eral peo­ple, she added, sought to pur­chase just a tri tip for later bar­be­cu­ing them­selves, and they were able to sell some of the meat by it­self as well, most plan­ning to bar­be­cue for Sun­day’s cham­pi­onship foot­ball games.

The drive thru din­ner is a ma­jor fundraiser for the an­nual Sober Grad all night party put on for grad­u­at­ing Escalon High School se­niors. Those se­niors that worked at the event will re­ceive some money off the price of their ad­mis­sion ticket to the event. Stu­dents whose par­ents sold a cer­tain num­ber of din­ner tick­ets also re­ceive money off.

“We have some stu­dents that will get $10 off their ticket,” noted Leal.

While the grill was fired up out­side El Por­tal, pota­toes were bak­ing in­side and crews also came in dur­ing the af­ter­noon to pre­pare the din­ner bags – the pa­per bags pro­vided by Big Boy Mar­ket – which in­cluded the tri tip, four baked pota­toes, a bag of salad, a loaf of French bread and a two­liter bot­tle of soda.

Help­ing bag up pota­toes was se­nior Casey Turner.

“My brother went to it (Sober Grad) his se­nior year and loved it,” Casey said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”

Or­ga­niz­ers plan for over 200 meals, so well over 800 pota­toes had to be baked and bagged early Satur­day, a crew of vol­un­teers com­ing to­gether to get the job done.

Eight se­niors and one un­der­class­man turned out to help de­liver the meals on Satur­day evening, as­sur­ing that din­ers got their ‘to go’ meals quickly and ef­fi­ciently.


Keep­ing a close eye on the grilling meat, vol­un­teers Robert Leal, fore­ground, and Kenny Tag­gart han­dle the bar­be­cu­ing du­ties on Satur­day at El Por­tal Mid­dle School.

Par­ent vol­un­teer Jill Turner takes the hot baked pota­toes out of the oven on Satur­day, in prepa­ra­tion for fill­ing or­ders dur­ing the Sober Grad drive-thru tri tip din­ner.

Work­ing on the assem­bly line style food pack­ag­ing, here get­ting the pota­toes bagged up, are Renee Ma­son, fore­ground, and EHS se­nior Casey Turner, in back.

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