The Meals on Wheels program has been around for many years and has continued to serve the Gatesville community by providing hot meals to local elderly folks.
In order to keep helping those in need, the Meals on Wheels program will host a benefit at Texas Station Event Center on Saturday, Feb. 10.
Senior Center Director Pam Rudolph stated that during this past October, the government decided to cut the budget drastically for the Meals on Wheels program.
“We knew that we were going to have to do something to alleviate our loss of funding,” Rudolph said. “We were told that we would have to do some type of fundraising to make the difference for funding, and I thought a dance would be a good way to raise money.”
Rudolph felt that Texas Station Event Center would be the best spot to hold the benefit.
After a conversation between Texas Station’s Manager Kaylie Mendez and Rudolph, Mendez spoke to her father Dean Smith, owner of Texas Station, and he agreed to donate the building for the benefit.
“I am in the process of having flyers printed up,” Rudolph said. “I will send out the flyers to all of the Meals on Wheels folks as well as passing them out within the community to seek vendors and support.”
The benefit will begin at 12 p.m. with a cornhole tournament that will last until 6 p.m. Sign-up will be the day of the event, and the winners of the tournament will receive half of the jackpot prize.
Following the cornhole tournament, there will be a performance by the Texas Connection Band from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The admission will be $10 per person or $15 per couple.
“I spoke to a friend of mine, Rob Williams, who is in the band, and they agreed to play at the benefit for free,” Rudolph said.
The Texas Connection Band has been together since July 2013 and includes Rob Williams, Jesse Aviles, Lewis Aviles, Joe Chidboy, Joe Tennison, and JC Ticket. The band performs old and new country, rock, southern rock, and the blues.
The benefit will feature Frank’s Kettle Corn out of Waco. The company will set up a kettle machine and cook the kettle corn fresh on site. There will also be a meal provided by Nutrition Supervisor Camilla Edge, which will be fried rib baskets with fries.
The public is reminded that alcoholic beverages will be BYOB.
Edge, Rudolph, and Rudolph’s niece, Tracy Lewis, will be working endlessly to prepare for the benefit by decorating, preparing meals, and putting together activities for the event.
“This benefit is important, because I do not want to have to put anyone on a waiting list because of funding,” Rudolph said. “Anyone needing homebound care or meals should have the opportunity to receive that, and I don’t ever want to have to tell someone that we can’t help them get something to eat. That would kill me,” Rudolph said.
If you are interested in becoming a Meals on Wheels volunteer, there will be an information station at the event where you can sign up.
“All of the money donated will stay local,” Rudolph said. “The money will cover the food to prepare the meals for Meals on Wheels, supplies for the volunteers, and anything that will keep the nutrition program running.”
If you are not able to attend the benefit but still want to donate, visit https://givebutter.com/MealsonWheels. The website allows the community to make a one time or recurring donations to the Meals on Wheels program.
“We will be appreciative of anything we get,” Rudolph said. “If we can have people come out and enjoy their time while learning more about what we do here, that would be the ultimate goal.”
For more information or to become a vendor, contact Senior Center Director Pam Rudolph at 254-404-5271.
Texas Station is located at 4604 TX-36 in Gatesville.