-Tomato Sandwich Supper nears fundraising goal

  • Vickey Dougherty, Community Helping Place volunteer, hands out juicy ripe tomatoes for sandwiches at the annual Tomato Sandwich Supper fundraiser last week. The luscious taste of summer has been donated now for 12 years by Jeff Grindle, owner of Tomato House Farms to aid in services of the Community Helping Place’s Free medical and dental clinics. Over 800 community members enjoyed BLT sandwiches at the annual Tomato Sandwich Supper to benefit the Community Helping Place’s Free Medical and Dental clinics. W
    Vickey Dougherty, Community Helping Place volunteer, hands out juicy ripe tomatoes for sandwiches at the annual Tomato Sandwich Supper fundraiser last week. The luscious taste of summer has been donated now for 12 years by Jeff Grindle, owner of Tomato House Farms to aid in services of the Community Helping Place’s Free medical and dental clinics. Over 800 community members enjoyed BLT sandwiches at the annual Tomato Sandwich Supper to benefit the Community Helping Place’s Free Medical and Dental clinics. W
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The bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, chips and desserts may all have been consumed, but donations are still coming in for the annual Tomato Sandwich Supper fundraiser. The fundraiser benefits Community Helping Place’s free medical and dental clinics, whose goal this year was $40,000.
“We still might make it,” said Debbie Graham, manager of the Free Dental Clinic. “We’ve raised $38,000 so far, but traditionally donations continue to come in through September.”
Both the clinics are run almost entirely by volunteers. Local doctors, PAs and nurses as well as dentists volunteer their time and talents to care for the uninsured of Lumpkin County who meet eligibility requirements. Volunteers also provide the clerical duties involved.
Last year professionals and community members volunteered nearly 260 hours at a value of $18,619 to the dental clinic. The total for care and medications Lumpkin residents received is a whopping record $1.23 million.
“We are very proud that we break these records year after year,” said Free Medical Clinic manager Paula Payne, “and we gratefully acknowledge that this level of care and service is the direct result of the generous support of our volunteers and donors.”
It is also community members that volunteer to make the Tomato Sandwich Supper a success.
“It takes a lot of volunteers and a lot of time,” Graham said. “We start planning in March or April every year.”
Two of the early planners, Anne Green and Joyce Westmoreland, have been at it since the very beginning, planning and organizing and recruiting donations.
Everything necessary to make the evening such an enjoyable experience is donated. From the bacon to the entertainment, neighbors come together to make the event a success.
“I can’t thank all the donors, sponsors and volunteers enough,” Graham said. “They are all fantastic.”
One of those “fantastic” donors is Jeff Grindle, whose Tomato House Farms has donated hundreds of cases of tomatoes to the effort. He has been the source of the luscious taste of summer since the very first supper 12 years ago.
To learn more about Community Helping Place and its services, or to help the Free Clinics reach their goal with your donation, you can go to its website at communityhelpingplace.org or snail mail a check earmarked Free Clinics to CHP, P.O. Box 712, Dahlonega.