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Sober Grad crew grills up tri-tip drive thru fundraiser
SG potatoes
Escalon Sober Grad tri-tip drive-thru dinner coordinator Renee Snow gets ready to load some potatoes in to the oven at El Portal Middle School on Saturday, April 6 as preparations were made for the evening dinner fundraiser. Marg Jackson/The Times

With close to 200 meals purchased, the Saturday, April 6 drive-thru tri-tip dinner staged at El Portal Middle School was a success.

“We sold 185 tickets, that is a little lower than normal but it also came during Spring Break week,” said coordinator Renee Snow, who was overseeing things in the kitchen on Saturday morning, as preparations were underway.

Those who purchased the dinner, however, received a full meal for four for the $60 ticket price. The menu included the seasoned grilled tri-tip, four baked potatoes, a bag of salad and a loaf of bread.

“It is a good dinner,” Snow said.

The cooking crew this year was headed up by John Lial and Zack Morgan.

“Kenny Taggart has been our mainstay and we truly want to thank him,” Snow said, noting that he missed out this year due to a scheduling conflict. “We also thank Trinity Church for letting us continue to borrow their grill.”

The dinner is delivered curbside, with high school seniors working the event to earn some money off their ticket price for the Sober Grad Night party hosted at Escalon High on graduation night.

Snow said the drive-thru also benefits from some donations, to help increase the amount of profit the dinner brings in.

“Cost Less in Ceres contributed $150 toward the cost of the bread and salad,” Snow said. “MarVal donated the bags we put the dinners in.”

Those who purchased a ticket could drive to El Portal during the dinner hours Saturday, present their ticket and the crew of seniors would fill the order.

Adult volunteers, in addition to grill masters Lial and Morgan, included Kendra Monteiro, Krysten Lial, Randilee Morgan, Amy Achterberg, Melissa Arata and Snow, coordinating the effort.

And while the tri-tip drive-thru is a solid moneymaker for the Sober Grad effort, committee members said donations are always welcome. Most needed currently is cash; the donations can be sent to Escalon High School: Attention Sober Grad, 1528 Yosemite Ave., Escalon, CA 95320.

Donations of gift cards are also appreciated, as every little bit helps, but organizers said the cash also allows them to make sure they have enough to cover the cost of putting on the graduation night party. Hosted at the school, it provides students with a night to remember, spending their final night of high school together with their classmates in a safe, sober, fun environment. The ticket price for seniors is all-inclusive, with food, beverages, games and prizes all a part of the overnight party.

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A crew of Escalon High School seniors helped deliver the meals curbside at Saturday’s drive-thru tri-tip dinner hosted at El Portal Middle School. The Sober Grad fundraiser saw students, from left, Janessa Aldasoro, Lauryn Alvarado, Macie Vickers, Alexia Guzman and Angel Castro on hand to fill the orders, here sharing a smile with Escalon Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Morriss. Photo Contributed