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Boys & Girls surpasses goal
Toni Raymus rings the cow bell for a big donation she just received from a Manteca citizen she contacted on the telephone in the phone bank calling effort. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Manteca/Lathrop Boys & Girls Club’s 33rd Annual Telethon brought back memories back for Phil Waterford growing up in Chicago as he presented the organization a $10,000 donation.

The owner of Manteca Ford on Tuesday presented the club a check for $7,000 during live coverage on Comcast Channel 97. Waterford hesitated, saying he recognized that wasn’t enough. So he deiced to make the donation $10,000 instead.

That donation helped push the telethon total to $101,751. It surpassed the goal of $100,000 the club had set in order to help keep supporting programs for 1,500 youth in Manteca/Lathrop.  Additional donations are expected in the coming days. The telethon is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Before going in front of the cameras and making his donation, Waterford reflected on his acceptance as a young boy at a Boys and Girls Club in Chicago.  His membership made a difference in his life with the tutoring of caring people, he noted.

“When I first walked in the door of that club, there were sports pennants hanging on the hallway walls.  One that stood out was for Craig Hodges who had gone to Long Beach State and went on to play pro basketball winning in a championship with the Chicago Bulls,” he said. 

It was so very impressive for him in those formative years, he added. 

“They taught me to play ping pong,” he chuckled.  “Nobody can beat me today.”

He pointed out that the real heroes are right here in the Manteca and in the Lathrop communities – people who are ready to teach our youth the values and skills they need in life.  

Waterford said he had come Tuesday night to bid on a number of different things, but the most important to him was the ability to name a street in the Raymus Homes subdivision dubbed Oleander Estates expected to break ground next year near Union Road and Woodward Avenue.

Waterford had the winning bid of $1,300 to have the street named in honor of former 49er football great R.C. Owens, who had made his home in Manteca until his death earlier this year.

“R.C.  was committed and always there for us,” he said of football star who had given Waterford his number 27 jersey and asked that it be hung on the wall of Waterford’s office after his death.

“R.C. Owens Lane” should guarantee that he will never be forgotten in the community when it is posted on that new Manteca street sign.

Waterford stressed that he doesn’t want to be seen as outstanding in the community, only for being significant in doing what is needed by giving back to the community. 

During the evening hours, a series of volunteer organizations and church members manned the phone banks on half hour sessions calling prospects they hoped would help support the popular youth organization for the coming year.

It only takes $24 to underwrite the membership of one boy or girl for the entire year, it was noted.

Teen Kate Crocket made her last call to her dad, David, from her phone bank spot at the end of the table.  He brought her a check for $1,000 that thrilled her as she added it to the running total.

The Manteca Kiwanis Club members gathered to go on camera with emcee Rex Osborn giving him a check for $1,000.