TERAJI: Fundraiser a Lions share of food

 

One of the best kept secrets in Gilroy is about to be revealed
here in this column. The cheapest yet most delicious breakfast you
will ever eat for dinner is going to be held Friday, Dec. 3. I can
promise that you will never get a better bargain at any fundraising
event for such a good cause.
One of the best kept secrets in Gilroy is about to be revealed here in this column. The cheapest yet most delicious breakfast you will ever eat for dinner is going to be held Friday, Dec. 3. I can promise that you will never get a better bargain at any fundraising event for such a good cause.

Your omelet will be cooked to order by the men of the Lions Club, who spend a great deal of time getting all the ingredients ready beforehand.

It’s no easy undertaking with slicing, chopping, pureeing, sauteing ham and onions, tomatoes, peppers, cheese, sausage and preparing salsa.

Ruby Hart will be back in the kitchen turning out giant vats of her homemade pancake batter as she has been doing for the past 35 years.

She will provide regular and sugar-free syrup.

Before the dinner opens to the public, Lions Club members first serve students with disabilities. The dinner then opens up to the general public from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The dinner began in 1974 at the downtown Busy Bee Restaurant and then moved to the original Presbyterian Church building on Fifth Street.

The popular annual fundraiser is now being held at the large Presbyterian campus located on Santa Teresa.

The dinner received a change its prices for the first time from $6 to $7 for an all-you-can-eat meal.

“We don’t charge a lot,” laughed Vic Lase, a Lions member for more than 50 years. “The important thing is to get together. We want to visit with people and get to know each other, establish camaraderie.”

The Gilroy Lions Club is part of an international service organization of more than 1.3 million members in more than 200 countries and geographic areas. Ask local president Marilyn Mitri how the club gives back to the community and watch her eyes light up.

She glows as she tells me about how the Lions Club stepped in with a grass-roots campaign in 2009 to keep Gilroy’s Earth Day Celebration going when the city could no longer afford to do so. They also sponsor a student speech contest for local high school students each year. The winner receives a monetary prize and qualifies to compete at the next level, with an opportunity to win the state grand prize of $21,000 in scholarship money.

The Lions also pay for eye surgeries, eye tests, glasses and hearing aids for those who could not otherwise afford them.

They support Gilroy Great Strides, a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

A new cause they adopted earlier this year was helping children at the First Annual West Coast Disability Pride Parade and Festival held in San Jose.

“We have done such projects as building a walkway for a Gilroy resident,” Lion Elias Mitri said. “It enabled him to get out to the street in his wheelchair.”

The Gilroy Lions are masters of leveraging limited resources to make the most of their fundraising projects.

Despite natural attrition and a decline in membership, the Gilroy Lions roar ahead, finding every possible way to make a difference in their local community.

The Lions meet at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at Mama Mia’s Restaurant for dinner. All are welcome. For more information, contact Mitri at 847-0092.

For more, go to GilroyDispatch.com, click on the “News” tab and click on “Teraji: Making Connections.”

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