HAPPY TO HELP
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.