November has arrived and that means the community of Folsom is already seeing members of the local non-profit known as the Friends of Folsom hustling in the community in an effort to raise funds to provide 10,000 turkeys to families in need this holiday season.  

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Friday night, they are inviting the community to join them as their annual fundraising kick-off party takes over the Historic Folsom Amphitheater for a night of fun while fundraising with live music, auctions, food and spirits and tons of activities all for a good cause. 

“As we always say, we like to put the fun in fundraising and that’s exactly what we are doing here in Historic Folsom Friday night,” said Jeff Garcia, President of the Friends of Folsom organization. “This annual event is our big kick off and we out grew our other space so we’ve moved it the Zittel Family Amphitheater in Historic Folsom. It’s going to a fun night all for a good cause.”

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In the past, the large number of turkeys purchased and provided to the Sacramento Food Bank by the volunteers of Friends of Folsom make up nearly half of the overall supply of turkeys donated to the organization year with 10,000 turkeys being secured by the local group’s effort as they pull the community together from residents, business owners and more each holiday season to make a difference in communities across the area. 

Even during the pandemic with fundraising events were brought to a halt, supplies were lean and donors were not as abundant, the Friends of Folsom still managed to hit their annual goal. It took a lot of work and creativity but the mission was accomplished to continue their long record of community giving.

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This year, they are hoping to do the same but the effort is not without challenges. Inflation across the country is affecting prices of nearly everything and hitting pocket books hard. What this means, is those 10,000 turkeys and other holiday fixings the Friends of Folsom supplies are going to cost them a lot more. 

“Our mission for the last three years has been to feed 10,000 families and we’re going to need a lot of help to come close to that now, said Garcia. “If you have been grocery shopping then you already know that it’s going to cost us anywhere from 40-50% more to feed that same amount of people now.”

Like other non-profits, Garcia cites that the cost of everything rising has increased the need to help families even more.

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“The worst part about it is that the need has grown and the ability to feed that need has also become more difficult due to the costs,” he said. “But  we have had a ton of small businesses sponsor our effort this year and if we have a good turn out Friday night we can come close to hitting that 10,000 families again.”

Friday’s event is free to attend, starting at 6 p.m., and will feature numerous raffles, silent auctions and various fundraising activities.

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It features a variety of food and beverages on site as well as live entertainment. The event will begin with the live music of Bobby Dickson, known for his songs and sounds of Johnny Cash.  Later in the evening, the popular area band Arden Park Roots will perform to provide their entertaining reggae tunes into the night. 

“We will be out here from 6 to 10 Friday night,” said Garcia. “So my suggestion is come early and stay late. We will have a good time here and raise the money needed to feed these families again. 

For those that can’t make it Friday and still want to help the Friend of Folsom with their quest to hit the 10,000 turkey mark this year, you can still pitch in by donating to their organization at www.friendsoffolsom.com or by mail to 705 E Bidwell Street, Suite 2 Box #298, Folsom, CA 95763.

Friends of Folsom’s spirit of giving will continue past Thanksgiving as they are already planning similar fundraisers for the Christmas holiday. The local group works year round hosting numerous fundraisers for various local causes, with the annual turkey drive being their flagship fundraiser.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan