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Boys & Girls members appreciate Rotary effort
Anthony Salana enjoys his pancakes. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

Jeff Shields makes “great” Mickey Mouse pancakes.

John Brinton pours “real good” orange juice.

And as far as Shawn Nussbaumer’s omelets go, they “taste real good.”

That’s the verdict of Anthony Salana.

He was one of dozens of Manteca Boys & Girls Club members that enjoyed an omelet breakfast complete with pancakes for lunch Thursday at the organization’s clubhouse at 545 Alameda St.

The meal was courtesy of Manteca Rotarians who skipped their weekly lunch meeting at Isadores’s to feed close to 70 youth.

Nussbaumer, Brinton and Shields were among the Rotarians that rolled up their sleeves to prepare the meal and serve the youth

The print shop owner, city attorney, and irrigation district general manager reprised their roles from last month’s Manteca Rotary Super Bowl Omelet Breakfast where they served nearly 1,000 breakfasts in a bid to raise funds for community endeavors that includes supporting other Boys & Girls Club.

It was the fundraiser that prompted the club to start serving a similar meal to the kids.

Rotarian Charlie Halford, a retired Manteca Police Chief who has served on the Boys & Club board as well as a stint as a fill in as the club’s executive director at reduced pay, suggested after there was food leftover last year that Rotarians cook omelets for club members.

The response was so good that the club decided to make an omelet breakfast during spring break an annual event at the Boys & Girls Club.

“It’s good to give to the next generation,” noted Nussbaumer who also serves as the Rotary club president.

As far as Halford was concerned, it was a huge success.

“The kids appreciated it,” Halford said. “I had several tell me thank you when I came back to load the grills. For some, it may well be their only meal of the day. There were a couple of kids that mentioned they ate 12 or 13 pancakes. They may have been exaggerating a little, but more than a few came through for seconds.”

Halford, though, isn’t exaggerating that for some it was their only meal of the day.

He ran into youth when he was working as a police officer and when he was running the club that often didn’t get much food to eat.

Halford noted during the summer the club works with the Manteca United School District to provide free breakfast and lunch to all comers under the age of 18.

Participation is high in the club’s Food for Thought program where kids earns several bags of groceries if they complete all of their homework and studies prior to partaking in club activities ranging from sports and arts to table games.

Boys & Girls Club Director of Operations Mark McCool said youth participating in the Food for Thought program take “great pride” in being able to help feed their families.

For more information or to assist the Boys & Girls Club call 209.239.KIDS.