Raiders Booster Club helps seniors in annual fundraiser |

Raiders Booster Club helps seniors in annual fundraiser

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

It may be the first week of November, but the Carson City Raiders Booster Club has been making Christmas plans since March.

The club’s 12th annual Christmas Commitment fundraiser will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Q’s, 230 Fairview Drive. In March, the club asked former Raiders running back Marv Hubbard to be its guest.

During the game, Hubbard will sign autographs (up to two, free), pose for photos and regale the crowd with stories of his years with the team. There will also be a live auction at halftime and raffle drawings throughout the game.

In an arrangement with the Carson City Senior Citizens Center, the club receives a list of 10 seniors who are homebound and on the Meals on Wheels program. They began the project five years ago.

“The first year we adopted five seniors,” said Nancie Pitts, club president. “The next year we had eight and from there on, decided to take on 10 because it’s gone so well. Actually, it’s a lot of fun.”

Each year, all homebound seniors are asked to write down their first and second choice of gift. The 10 selected seniors are put on a list and given to the club. A board member then contacts each senior and gets additional information.

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“We like to make it personal,” Pitts said. “We find out if they like coffee or tea, candy, cookies, are they diabetic, and if they have a pet. We will buy them pet food, also. Just something to make this a bit more special for them. We don’t want these beautiful people to be left out.”

Once the gift list is compiled, a volunteer group heads out to a department store to begin shopping.

“If we can get what we need from one store, we’re done,” Pitts said. “If not all our needs are met, we go to other stores until we are done.”

Club members Cleo Costa and Clara Keirstead have crocheted lap blankets to be given to each of the seniors. Also contributing this year is Costa’s daughter, Kathy Giafrancisco, of Chino Valley, Ariz.

When shopping is done, the volunteers return to a board member’s home to organize and wrap the gifts. Delivery arrangements are made in advance.

“Some of our kids go (with us) and we sing carols when we drop off the gifts,” Pitts said. “We dress in our Raiders club T-shirt, Santa hats and they always invite us in. The seniors, and us, enjoy the visits, albeit brief.

“The smiles and hugs we get are all the reward we need. That’s why we do it. More of this is needed in our community.”

Pitts said the club also collects food for Advocates to End Domestic Violence, and new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. The club volunteers for the Share Your Holiday Food Drive held at the Governor’s Mansion.

“If you want to feel good about helping the community, join us. This is why we’re here.”

– Contact reporter Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@ or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Raiders Booster Club annual Christmas Commitment fundraiser

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Q’s Bar-B-Que, 230 Fairview Drive

GUEST: Former Raiders running back Marv Hubbard

CALL: 450-7484, 720-4333

What to bring: Cash for live auction, raffle; new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots; non-perishable food item for Advocates to End Domestic Violence

Marv Hubbard

Born in 1946; graduate of Colgate University; running back for the Raiders from 1969-1975, wore numbers 39 and 44.

Best season: 1972 – 219 rushes for 1,100 yards and 4 touchdowns; also 22 receptions for 103 yards.