Bluegrass in the Garden is one of the biggest fund-raisers held for the Meals on Wheels program at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center. Usually held in September, the event has been scheduled for Aug. 23, and this has Executive Director Janice McIntosh concerned.
"It's going to be a real challenge for us this year," McIntosh said. "Because of less time to prepare, we're not having a raffle this year. And that's where we make a good portion of our money."
McIntosh said a 50/50 drawing will be held, a quilt made by the Carson City Quilters will be given away, and Barbara Tonge, administrative assistant of the center, has donated a doll house (recently redecorated) to raffle.
"I'm concerned we're not going to make as much money," McIntosh said. "We didn't have enough time after the Senior Follies to get more donations. Last year's Bluegrass event made about $11,000.
"The Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association will provide the awesome entertainment, and it's so wonderful to be in the governor's back yard with twinkle lights in the trees."
McIntosh is asking the community to participate in the "Adopt-a-Senior" program. The cost to adopt reflects the suggested amount asked of the recipients, $2 per meal. Seniors can be adopted for one, three, six months or one year.
"Last year's donations equaled about 69 cents per meal," McIntosh said. "The overall cost is about $5 per meal. We get $2.65 from Division for Aging Services and some from USDA, but it doesn't come close to that $5."
There are 181 meals delivered daily through the program. Clara Morgan and her mother, Mary Matthews, are recipients of Meals on Wheels. Clara is 79 years old, Mary is 99 -- a fairly spry 99 -- though her hearing could be a bit better.
"We started having the meals delivered to Mom in mid-June, when I was in the hospital for heart surgery," Morgan said.
"My deliveries (of meals) started on July 18 when I got home from the hospital. And it has been great."
Morgan said they eat breakfast in the early morning, then use the meal delivered to them as their dinner.
"The food is wonderful," Matthews said. "I would go back for seconds if they were available."
"Sometimes we add a little bit to the meal with what we have at home," Morgan said.
"Grandma's got a very healthy appetite," added Mary Ellen Wiley, Matthews' granddaughter. "She's a big eater. They could use to send bigger portions sometimes."
The Meals on Wheels program is designed to help those most in need of assistance, like the low-income, physically disabled, persons living alone, the homebound and those with no relative nearby to assist them.
"We're very frugal, too," McIntosh said. "Safeway has given us so much food over the last two years -- bread, milk, chicken -- we use that stuff and it does help on our cost. Plus we get donations from people and that helps, too.
"But our numbers are going up, both in clients and cost. We've had to be very diligent as to clients we serve; we're back up to 181 being served daily. And whatever foods are not used in the center are immediately frozen and used for the homebound for weekend meals. We're really trying to be cost-effective."
Bluegrass in the Garden will be from 5:30-9 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Governor's Mansion. Tickets are available at the senior center, 911 Beverly Drive. General admission is $15 for general, $10 for seniors and children 12-younger.
Dinner includes a shredded pork barbecue sandwich, baked beans and coleslaw. The women of the thrift and gift shops will have homemade desserts available, too.
YOU CAN HELP
WHAT: Meals on Wheels Adopt-a-Senior program
COST: One month, $44; three months, $132; six months, $264; one year, $528
Make checks payable to the Carson City Senior Citizens Center, note on bottom "Adopt-a-Senior/Bluegrass," and mail to 911 Beverly Dr., Carson City, NV 89706