Living up to their motto of “service above self”, the Galt Sunrise Rotary Club hosted the 10th Holiday Community Dinner at the Littleton Community Center last Saturday. Grace Malson headed up the event but her jobs were more than just coordinating. She’s amazed at how the event has grown from the first year until now. Thanks to the Elk Grove Food Bank and Jerry Braxmeir, 120 turkeys fed the crowd.
“In a world of social media, individuals do not interact with others,” Malson said. “This gives the citizens of Galt an opportunity to meet your neighbors, socialize. It brings all of us together. Ten years ago, we fed 350 at the Grange Hall, and it has just grown. A thousand seems to be the magic number.”
Malson is quick to recognize all the help from service organizations and just regular citizens to make this event truly special, including her husband Tom Malson, daughter Grace E. Malson and granddaughter Zoe Malson-Page.
“The Galt community throughout the year helps the Galt Sunrise Rotary fulfill our goals,” Malson said. “Without their help in supporting our fundraisers for scholarships, school athletes, special programs for special-needs individuals, scouting activities, international projects, and anything else that may come along, we would not be able to do anything. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community for their generosity and support.”
Seniors and shut-ins were not left out of the good food; over 400 meals were delivered to South County Service clients, Galt Place residents, New Hope Village residents and 50 other individuals.
The event was not without a few hiccups when the roll order was lost. Malson went into panic mode, but a local business came to her rescue.
“I want to thank the Save Mart bakery manager for the 85 dozen rolls that she baked for the event when another store did not come through as promised,” Malson said. “I called her at 10 a.m., and I had 85 dozen fresh baked dinner rolls by 1 p.m. I also want to thank John [Buckman], Save Mart store manager, for storing 120 frozen turkeys for us.”
Malson has an additional list of people to thank. She said she knows she cannot name them all, but these individuals were critical to the event’s success.
“There are so many individuals involved in this event to make it successful,” Malson said. “I would just like to thank each and every person that assisted in bringing the community together.”
Delivery preparation was the work of Troop 1119, Sea Scouts 1119, Zoe Malson-Page, Aubree Freitas and, toward the end, unknown youth helped with a few last minute meals.
Cleaning and preparing turkeys were in the hands of Mark Crews, TJ Guidotti, Mark King, Andrew Sayles, Vice Mayor Rich Lozano and Sunrise Rotary President Mel Shamblen, while the barbecue staff included Pedro Ramos, Kevin Harcourt, David Herburger, Gary Keisler, Ernie Cason, Mukesh Patel, Jerry Braxmeier and Bill Lock.
Kitchen crew included Sayles, Betty Welch, Leesa Klotz, Sean O’Neil, Jessica Goerzen, Eric (Cal Waste), Scouts, Galt Youth Commission, Galt 4-H, Club Prime Volleyball and Gale Webber. Cleanup crew included Liberty Ranch FFA members and anyone that was still around.
Leftover food went to the Salvation Army Hope Shelter, delivered by Gale Webber and Jessica Goerzen.