On Wednesday mornings, Don and Di Week like to hang out together at the Eagle’s Nest Bocce Complex as members of the “Smoothies.” On Thursday nights, Don likes to roll on his own with “Several Sexy Guys.” They are both avid fans of the game of Bocce and enthusiastic members of the PebbleCreek Bocce Association. They also have proven to be a dynamic duo when it comes to supporting the mission of a non-profit charitable organization that provides services to families and individuals who are hungry, in need, or facing a crisis.
Recently Don, who serves as the Captain of both the Smoothies and the Several Sexy Guys teams, learned that the Bocce Association was looking for someone to lead its 2018 Agua Fria Food Drive, a charitable endeavor that was launched last year at the group’s annual meeting and potluck gathering.
He did not hesitate to volunteer.
“I taught school in Rochester, MN for 33 years and had a lot of experience working with the Student Council to conduct food drives and other charitable projects,” Don explained when asked why he so readily offered to take over the leadership of this year’s food drive.
Di, who met and married Don while working as an Occupational Therapist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, did not hesitate to offer her support.
“About four years ago we participated in a tour of the various groups and organizations that are a part of our church’s mission work. We had the opportunity at that time to become acquainted with the mission and goals of the Aqua Fria Food Bank,” Di recounted.
The couple, who moved to PebbleCreek 15 years ago, reached out to fellow Bocce team member Les Pallett to ask if they could use his bright red van. Les not only was willing to offer his vehicle, but readily volunteered to help collect the food, not just on the day of the annual meeting/potluck Sunday, January 7, but also the following week, when the Wednesday and Friday Day League teams and the Tuesday and Thursday Night League teams were at the courts.
The result was an impressive collection of 594 pounds of food and other items, which were delivered to the Aqua Fria Food Bank headquarters in Avondale by Don and Di, who had the opportunity to tour the facility once again.
“They were very happy to get our sizeable donation so soon after the holidays when so much of their inventory is depleted,” Di commented.
The couple also wanted to make a point of letting everyone know that even though the name gives the impression that the charity is interested in collecting only food items, the Agua Fria Food Bank also accepts donations of clothing, toiletries and other necessities.
Agua Fria is part of the Association of Arizona Food Banks (AAFB), a private, non-profit organization serving five regional food bank members and a network of nearly 1,200 food pantries and agencies.