PRESTON – The biggest fundraiser of the year for the Preston Senior Citizen Center will be shy several thousand dollars due to lack of volunteers.
A call for volunteers to help prepare and deliver the annual Thanksgiving dinner for between 500-600 meals at area businesses in Preston went unanswered this year.
The fundraiser traditionally raised about $4,000 for the center, according to Director Carol Parker.
The holiday charity event won’t be a total loss, though. Parker was able to make homemade rolls and pies this past weekend, but it took a key ingredient to pull it off – family.
“I bring all my family in,” she said. “They come from Twin Falls, Malad, Preston and they all help me. It takes two full days, grandkids and all.”
Day one began bright and early Saturday morning. Daughter Nikki Combs said she didn’t have to roust her three children out of bed, they were up and ready to go without any complaints.
“I’ve been coming here from 27 years,” said Combs. “We come for our mom because we all love her so much. That’s why we do it.”
“(Mom) loves the elderly. We were raised that way. She would always take us to the nursing home on Sundays to visit the elderly when we were little,” she said.
Combs, her two sisters and 15-plus grandchildren spent more than 25 hours volunteering their time.
Daughter Robin Burrup drives from Twin Falls every year.
“It’s an opportunity to help out the community and see my family,” said Burrup. (Mom) is a very hard working lady. She never stops even though she has arthritis. She can’t really move after she’s done with this, but she keeps going.”
“We are now training the grand-kids and teaching them,” said Combs, who brought along her 15 year old son to help organize the roll and pie orders.
“I come to help my Grandma and make sure we get everything done,” said Gaiden Combs.
“I’m definitely proud of her,” smiled 17-year old granddaughter Shaylee Broadus. “She goes through a lot of stress and she pushes through it. She’s really strong and it’s pretty inspiring. It’s incredible she’s been doing this for so long.”
Parker, her daughters and all the grandchildren made 800 dozen homemade rolls and 200 pies for just the Thanksgiving holiday. The center is taking orders for Christmas and the family will be back at it again in a few weeks.
While Parker didn’t have enough volunteers to make and deliver dinners this year, employees and volunteers did prepare and serve more than 450 Thanksgiving meals at the community center last Friday.