FISH thanks its volunteers with carne asada, jazz and prizes

When the band at the Friends In Service Helping volunteer-appreciation barbecue took a break, a musician stepped up to the microphone.

"You volunteers are more important than (FISH's) executive director," said the bass player Monte Fast.

He would know --Ethe is the executive director.

He took a break from entertaining with his band, the Carson Feetwarmers, to thank volunteers of the FISH thrift stores in Carson City, Dayton and Douglas; as well as the Ross Medical Clinic, homeless kitchen and food pantry, all in Carson City.

"This is our annual day where we just say thank you to the hundreds of people who do all our work," said his son, Jeffrey Fast, manager of the Douglas store.

"We have nearly 200 volunteers, including the new Angel program, which is basically the backbone of our medical clinic."

The angels, he said, are donors who pay the clinic's rent and help fund prescriptions.

"They've basically paid the lease on the Ross Medical Clinic for the next year."

While Juan Delgado, who runs the Carson store, worked the grill, volunteers chatted under shade structures.

Joy Amodei -- mother of Assemblyman Mark Amodei -- has volunteered in the homeless kitchen for a little more than three years.

"I love it," she said. "It's really gratifying. Everyone is so grateful."

Janice Large of Carson volunteers in the food bank during the food drive and at Christmas time.

"I used to receive baskets myself so I saw what was going on, and I decided to participate and help out as much as I could."

She cheered for her grandson's girlfriend and fellow volunteer, Tammy Link, 16, when she won a container of saltwater taffy in the raffle.

"I figure I needed to give back for all I get," said Large. "As bad off as I am, there's a lot of people worse off than me."

Her grandson, Zakre Large, 16, volunteers at FISH and for the Carson & Mills Park Railroad.

Carol Reed-Andersen, who volunteers as a family nurse practitioner at the Ross clinic, described their prescription program.

Funds donated in memory of Consuelo Farmer, who she said was a "very dedicated volunteer interpreter," go to the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy for volunteer physicians at the clinic to purchase medication.

Kirk Wentworth at the Medicine Shoppe also fills diabetes prescriptions for the clinic, paid for by the congregation of St. Peter's Episcopal Church.

"He's been a Godsend," Reed-Andersen said of Wentworth. "No diabetic in town should be going without medication."

The clinic, which she helped start with Dr. Charlie Ross nine years ago, never subsidizes narcotics, but does almost everything else: children's medications, antibiotics -- even minor surgeries.

Unfortunately, the line at the clinic is so long it's like fans at a Beatles concert, she said.

"It's nice to be popular, but it really just shows the great need."

FISH serves four counties -- Douglas, Lyon, Carson City and Storey -- though there is no facility in Storey.


Call Friends In Service Helping for more details on their services at 882-3474

The FISH thrift store is at 138 E. Long St.


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