Community fuels Block D’s turkey drive |

Community fuels Block D’s turkey drive

by Joey Crandall
Shannon Litz/The R-CBlock D member Joe White helps unload groceries at the Carson Valley Community Food Closet last week.

It’s one thing to set about representing the community. It’s quite another to get a true understanding of the community you represent.After 12 years, the annual turkey drive conducted by Douglas High School’s Block D Letterman’s Club has become a mutually beneficial endeavor.On one hand, the drive helps the Carson Valley Community Food Closet provide Thanksgiving dinners for up to 500 families every year. Club members, through going door to door soliciting donations and later putting the money into play at Scolari’s Food & Drug, get working lessons in community service.On the other, members — all of whom have earned a varsity letter of some sort from the high school — get a first-hand look at the generosity of the community they are seeking to serve.“Honestly, this is a really cool town to live in,” Block D senior officer Sean Jones said. While he has been a part of the club for two years, this was the first time Jones was able to participate in the turkey drive. “There aren’t many other places where you could even do something like this where so many people are so ready to help. “We’re blessed to live in a place like this. It gives you a sense of pride, knowing that when we play sports at Douglas High, these are the people we are representing when we put that uniform on.”Jones’ sentiments were echoed by Block D adviser Ernie Monfiletto.“We really appreciate what a great place we live in,” Monfiletto said. “This drive would not happen without the people of this town. It’s humbling to see the outpouring of support for this project every year.”This year’s turkey drive produced $5,000, which translated into more than 4,000 pounds of food and supplies and 120 turkeys. All of it went directly to the food closet.“We set that goal of $5,000 and we shut it down when we hit it,” Monfiletto said. “We are just very grateful for the generosity and trust the community has given us with this project.”The longevity of the program has also helped in the fundraising efforts.“It seemed like when we went door to door, some people recognized Block D and they already knew what we were about,” said senior officer Cole Melhus. “The thing that stuck out to us was that people were so ready to help out others. It just gives you a sense of pride to be a part of this club and to represent this school and this town.”Club president Aspen Abbott said the project has become Block D’s most important avenue to give back to the community during the year.“We have the memorial scholarship dinner in the spring, but community-service-wise, this is the biggest thing we do,” said Abbott, who was wrapping up her third turkey drive. “People just love to help. It’s awesome to watch it happen. We feel like it makes an impact and hopefully people can see we are trying our best to help the community. With that, we get to see the community really pitch in through this project. It’s awesome.”