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Drive-thru dinner helps injured teen

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POSTED June 6, 2014 1:23 a.m.

Schools are on summer break. But while schools are closed and students are out enjoying their vacations, members of the Parent Teacher Group of St. Anthony of Padua School are keeping their hearts open to help a Manteca family in need. They are sponsoring a drive-thru dinner fund-raiser at Fagundes Meats for the family of Manteca High School student Jonathan Loon.

The 15-year-old sustained major injuries and has been in the Intensive Care Unit at the UC Davis Medical Center since the beginning of April when he was hit by a distracted 19-year-old female driver as he and other teen-agers were walking home on the shoulder of East Highway 120. The tragic accident took the life of 14-year-old Zachariah Gomez Hernandez, a JROTC cadet at Manteca High where Jonathan played football.

The teen’s mother, Raquel, has maintained a daily vigil at her son’s bedside and has been unable to go to work. Her husband is a truck driver. They have a daughter who is a fourth grader at St. Anthony’s School.

The drive-thru dinner event will be held Thursday, June 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. For $15, one can purchase a dinner consisting of tri-tip, ¼ chicken, scalloped potatoes, Italian green beans, a roll and butter. Tickets are available at St. Anthony School’s office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon, at the Parish Office on East North Street (corner Fremont Avenue), or by calling either Dawn at 209.481.2448 or Kelly at 408.386.4680.

This is the second fund-raiser since May that the PTG is sponsoring to help the family. In early may, the group of parents and teachers held a soda float benefit after school and raised nearly $1,000 with most of the soda and ice cream donated by PTG members.

That’s what the group of parents and teachers is all about, said member Kelly Holgren whose husband, Mike, is also helping put together the drive-thru dinner.

“They come through when you need them,” she said.

Dawn McElrath who organized the soda float fund-raising event said the Loon family needs support from the community, not only financially because of mounting medical bills, “but prayers also.”

Those who cannot take part in the drive-thru fund-raiser but would like to extend a helping hand to the family can make a donation into the account that was opened at Bank of the West in Manteca.

Fagundes Meats is located at 142 Jason Street, off North Main Street, across from the East Cardoza shopping center in Manteca.

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