Block D rakes in $5,000 for turkeys

For the last six years, the Block D letterman's club at Douglas High School has set itself about the business of giving back to a generous community.

Just a little over two weeks ago, Block D adviser Ernie Monfiletto sent his club out on the streets of Carson Valley to raise money for the annual turkey drive.

In a whirlwind, the club raised more than $5,000.

Last Friday, in the course of just a few hours, the club began spending it on turkeys, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pies and toiletries to donate to the Carson Valley Community Food Closet for Thanksgiving dinners.

"The generosity of the community speaks volumes about where we live," Monfiletto said. "They support what the kids are doing, and it shows through drives like this.

"The kids' goal was about $4,000 this year and they ended up with $5,000."

Block D is a collection of students at the school who have earned varsity letters in a sport, activity or club. The goal of the club is to be positive role models in the community, provide leadership, community service and school spirit.

"When we started this, we wanted to change the image of the student athlete," Monfiletto said. "We wanted to get them focused on positive things. The annual turkey drive was something that grew out of that.

"We have about 130 to 150 kids in Block D this year and it is just a huge cross section of the student body. This is the largest group we've ever had."

The club did its shopping Friday at the Sierra Nevada Trading Co. in Minden.

Students rifled up and down the aisles of the store, filling carts with various Thanksgiving goodies.

"Sierra is giving us 200 turkeys at cost," Block D president Phil Mannelly said. "The community has been very generous with us. Mr. Monfiletto gave us the assignment two weeks ago and we basically went house to house asking for donations.

"There was an anonymous donation of $1,000 from someone who just came to Mr. Monfiletto and said he'd like to help with the turkey drive."

On Thursday, a large number of turkeys and hams were burglarized from the Evelyn Mount Food Drive in Reno. When Block D members heard of it, they decided to donate 100 of the turkeys they'd bought to the cause.

"We heard on the radio what had happened," Mannelly said. "It just seemed like the right thing to do. The community was so generous with us and we thought we might as well pass the generosity on to another good cause."

n Joey Crandall can be reached at or at 782-5121, ext. 212.


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