Driven by compassion

The annual radio telethon for the Massena Meals on Wheels program will be held today on 1340 WMSA. Pictured are Gail Elman, left, Mayor Timothy J. Currier, Mark Bogdan and Sister Cindy Sullivan. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Massena Meals on Wheels kicks off on Friday in its usual tasty fashion.

A fundraising spaghetti dinner prepared by Vino Vidi Vici will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Meals on Wheels, 70 East Hatfield St.

The meal includes spaghetti and meatballs, tossed salad, bread and homemade desserts. The cost is $8 per person or $30 for an immediate family of four or more. Takeouts are available by calling 315-769-5083.

Massena Meals on Wheels Week wraps up with the annual radio telethon, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Meals on Wheels. The event will be broadcast live on 1340 WMSA radio.

Chairman Mark Bogdan said they’ll have items for morning, afternoon and all-day boards. The afternoon board picks up after the morning board ends, and the all-day board runs through 5 p.m.

Large boards that have been set up in the Meals on Wheels community dining room list each item and the current bid. As the day ends, the numbers begin to rise significantly in some cases. This year’s goal is to raise $20,000.

Items on the auction block include artwork, wines, tools, airline tickets from Boutique Air, jewelry, gift certificates from various businesses and much more.

Volunteers staff the phones during the day and take bids from individuals who call 315-705-2036. Bids can also be made in person at Meals on Wheels.

In addition, volunteers will be on East Hatfield Street, near the Massena Electric Department, collecting donations from passing vehicles as part of “Stock the Pot.”

“It does very well. They can also use credit or debit cards either by the road or in the building,” Mr. Bogdan said.

Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals to elderly, home-bound, sick and handicapped people in the greater Massena area. The meals are delivered by volunteers Monday through Friday, and frozen meals are also available for the weekend.

“There are a lot of people that take an interest in taking care of the elderly in our community, especially the shut-ins,” he said.

In some cases, the volunteer delivering the meal is the only person the recipient sees during the day.

Mr. Bogdan said they average 100 recipients every day.

“Last week we signed up 10 new recipients,” he said.

As a private, not-for-profit agency, Meals on Wheels considers the two fundraising events vital for continuous service to the clients. The agency receives some funding from public entities such as the village of Massena and the St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging. But, with its large number of clients, money from public agencies doesn’t support Meals on Wheels throughout the entire year. If they don’t make up the difference in their budget, they can’t provide the service.

“We spend all of that by September. The last three months of the year, we’re going without any financial support from the Office for the Aging,” Mr. Bogdan said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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