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Curbside Dinner Delivery Served Up With Smiles
Parent volunteer Renee Mason puts loaves of bread into each bag that will be delivered curbside later for the Sober Grad drive thru event. Tri tip, baked potatoes, salad, bread and soda were al included in the ticket price. Marg Jackson/The Times


Raindrops didn’t have a negative impact on all those involved in Saturday’s well-orchestrated production, the annual Sober Grad Drive Thru trip tip dinner cooked, packaged, and delivered to hungry diners to support a good cause.

The rain was intermittent, allowing those grilling up the tri tip steaks to get their work done in the morning, while another crew inside the El Portal Middle School multi-purpose room wrapped the tri tips, gathered the baked potatoes and assembled the bags for later delivery. Manning the grill were Bryan Arnold, Robert Leal and Kenny Taggart.

The proceeds from this annual fundraiser help organizers put on the graduation night Sober Grad party for Escalon High School seniors, providing a safe place for them to share their final night together as Cougars. The event features food, games, music, prizes and plenty of fun for the graduates in a sober environment.

As part of the drive thru fundraiser, dinner for four is served up, many senior class members volunteering their time to make the ‘curbside delivery’ to those pulling up to El Portal late Saturday afternoon.

Each senior that helped will receive $5 off their Sober Grad ticket price.

Organizes typically plan to serve about 225 dinners and with many hands to help, the event again went off smoothly.

“We sold 190 (ahead of time) and we’re still getting phone calls,” co-organizer Debbie Leal said on Saturday morning. “We’re adding people as they call.”

Seniors taking time to work at the event this year were Laura Brasil, Lilly Garcia, Veronica Grajeda, Caleb Hansen, Sarah Leal, Garrett Nebe and Cameron Puthoff.

Many parent volunteers were also on hand, including Renee Mason, who was helping get the bags packed with all the ingredients for dinner.

She said her senior year, her class did lose some classmates to drinking and driving, so she is very supportive of the Sober Grad event.

“It’s such a good thing,” Mason said.