Food closet to honor volunteers |

Food closet to honor volunteers

by Rosemarie Middendorf

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and the board of directors of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet will honor their dedicated volunteers.

An appreciation luau will be held Wednesday, April 26, at 6 p.m. at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville.

A tri-tip dinner with all the trimmings will be served to the volunteers and their guests. Randy Cox, Jason Smith, Justin McClelland and Rich Ridley from Douglas High School will provide musical entertainment for the evening.

The Carson Valley Community Food Closet was established in 1988 through the cooperation of several area churches and service clubs.

A board of directors was formed with a representative from each of the organizing entities. It has been operated continuously solely by volunteers and, since 1989, under the direction of Diane Malone, herself a volunteer, and many individuals along the way.

A variety of activities are required to assist the food closet in meeting the goal of providing assistance year-round to people who qualify through Douglas County Social Services.

Among the functions are daily pickup of food from markets, coordinating volunteers to accept items and receive collections, sorting, storing and distribution of items.

Several assist with purchases from the Northern Nevada Food Bank in Reno and others spend time totaling donation slips from the various markets. Some volunteers work daily, others on days of distribution and/or whenever large collections are made by groups or organizations.

Operating under the auspices of the food closet is Project Santa Claus, which is also manned by volunteers and is under the direction of Marilyn Malkmus. Among jobs performed by these individuals are gathering, sorting and preparing clothing for distribution, collecting donated Christmas gifts from Angel Tree locations on a regular basis, delivering of items to the fairgrounds, preparing donated bicycles and Big Wheels for distribution, setting up the fairgrounds pavilion for receipt of gifts, organizing gifts in family groups in preparation for distribution and buying and wrapping gifts when necessary for distribution.

Volunteers also take part in the Wacky Waddlers Wiver Wace, the annual fund-raiser, under the direction of Len Freuth. These volunteers prepare rubber ducks for sale, sell the ducks, arrange for donated prizes and supervise the races.

Among those who are being acknowledged are Gerald Artellan, Gloria Bargas, Gloria Batters, Bev Bauer, Ruth and Cosmo Berkeley, Aldo Biaggi, Marion Bitton, Alice Burke, John Carlyon, J.C. Carrillo, Don Dixon, Mary Ann Draper, Harriet Eaton, Leona Fritz, Wayne Henderlong, Stevie Henderson, Fran Hetherton, Stan Hoffman, Jim Errington, Ray Knudsen, Stewart Liddell, Betty Miller, Sandie Morris, Marion Parker, Jerry Rasmussen, DeVonne Reutzel, June Robinson, Lori silk, Bob and Justin Thran, Noreen Viniaziowiski, Helen Wickman and Norm Young.

The board of directors, themselves volunteers, are Len Freuth, Willie Kersey, Gail Makley, Katy Weber, Marilyn Malkmus, Julian Larrouy, Karen Goode, Cynthia Sawyer, Ruth Berkeley, Anke Hagedorn, Bill Lovelady, Jim Loughrey, Rosemarie Middendorf and Diane Malone, director.

“The recipients and donors to the food closet appreciate the efforts of each and every volunteer, regardless of how much or how little time they assist. It takes the help of all volunteers and donors to make this program the success that it is. Our thanks to each and every one,” said Malone.