Follies fund-raiser canceled

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The Senior Follies show, which has raised more than $70,000 over the past nine years for the Meals on Wheels program at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center, won't be hitting the stage this year.

The brainchild of Carson City resident T.J. Gioia, the 2005 Senior Follies show has been canceled due to his pending neck surgery.

The annual fund-raiser has proven vital in helping sustain Meals on Wheels, which supplies hot, healthy meals to homebound seniors. The center could lose close to $10,000 due to the cancellation.

The budget to operate Meals on Wheels this year is $237,466, with about $100,000 of that coming from fund-raisers and donations. In addition to buying food, the center uses donated food to cook daily meals and prepare frozen foods for weekend deliveries to the homebound.

Janice McIntosh, director of the center, said 150 to 200 meals are delivered daily.

"My staff and I have talked about having other fund-raisers - fund-raisers not done before in town," McIntosh said.

"We'll be getting together soon to discuss our options. We have ideas, but we need to decide which ones we want to do. And the seniors do donate quite a bit."

The community can donate directly to the Meals on Wheels program or by "adopting a senior," paying the cost of their meals for one month to one year.

The advisory council will host a fashion show fund-raiser May 1 at the center. The $10 cost includes lunch. Fashions from Gottschalks will be modeled by seniors.

"They have really stepped up to the plate," McIntosh said of the advisory council.

"The council is made up of seniors and they will help as much as they can. They are wonderfully creative people with fantastic hearts. They'll make it happen."

McIntosh will keep track of Gioia's condition at the senior center. She asks people refrain from contacting the Gioia home.

"He will need his rest," she said. "Please do not call him."

Mary Ann Gioia, T.J.'s wife, said he will also be missed at Wal-Mart, where he works as a greeter.

"It's really something, the people who see him," Marianne Gioia said. "If he's not at work one day, they miss him. Well, they're going to miss him for a couple of months."

The good news is Gioia is looking forward to next year. After surgery, he will be in a C-collar for several weeks and must go through physical therapy.

"The center has a lot of wonderful people who care so much about T.J., and he loves us enough to do this," McIntosh said.


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