Four different organizations will be recognized for contributions to the community in March.
The annual Oakdale Awards Banquet hosted by the Chamber of Commerce is set for Friday, March 11 and one of the award categories is Community Service. Nominees for the honor this year are Boy Scouts Troop 43, Oakdale Lions Club, Pacific Project Heroes and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2922.
Following is information about each of the nominee, provided by the organizations.
Boy Scouts Troop 43
We were founded on April 1, 1938, with the Lions of Oakdale as our sponsor. Since then, we have served the city of Oakdale with numerous Eagle projects, and countless service hours. The goal for Troop 43 is to instill in our youth the ideals of service and community. In our time, the Troop has grown, currently including 24 active scouts in our boys’ and girls’ troops. Since 2009, more than 40 of the scouts in Troop 43 have earned the title of Eagle, the highest rank a scout can achieve. We meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights in the Oakdale Youth Building (297 Gilbert Ave., Oakdale CA). If you are interested in learning more, please join us at our next meeting or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The scoutmasters are Troop 43B Darryl Toepfer and Troop 43G Taya Matthews.
Like everyone, our activities were limited in 2021, below are some examples of what we do:
Veteran’s Day Parade and Fish Park Veteran’s ceremony
Veteran’s Day ceremony at Astoria Senior Living Facility
Clean up and parking for Oakdale’s 150th Birthday at Oakdale Rodeo Grounds
Trash collection at the Oakdale Chocolate Festival
Flags Across America
Scouting for Food for the Oakdale Community Sharing (gathered approximately 1300 pounds)
Numerous hikes around Oakdale and its surrounding areas
Oakdale Soccer opening day
Indoor rock climbing at Alpine Climbing in Ripon
Merit badge workshops held within the Troop as well as Council held Merit Badge Midways
Supported Eagle project for the Salvation Army
Camp Foggy Bottom in November 2021
Weekly skills instructions
We continually collect US flags for retirement, including having a permanent collection point for flags at the Oakdale Youth Building.
Oakdale Lions Club
Oakdale Lions have a dynamic history. The club was chartered in 1943. Over the years the Club has volunteered for many kinds of community projects.
Our motto is “We Serve.” The Club provides food, cooks it, and serves breakfast at Relay For Life, lunch for Society for Handicapped Children and Adults of Modesto and for hearing impaired campers at Camp Pacifica, as well as cooking hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers for the National Night Out. The club recently took over leadership of “Spirit of Oakdale” providing a free Thanksgiving dinner to over 700 people. Lions wind the town clock and maintain the flags at the top of the building at F Street and Yosemite. Club members display our country’s flag on major streets during Federal holidays and during the annual rodeo. Club members also collect aluminum pull tabs to sponsor families staying at the Ronald McDonald house next to the Children’s Hospital in Madera.
In addition to the community at large, Oakdale Lions serve our youth. Every December for the past 26 years, Oakdale Lions take over 200 Oakdale area youth on a clothing shopping trip. We fund college scholarships for high school students and Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Women’s Program. We also contribute to High School music and High School Sober Grad Night and sponsor a student speaker contest.
As a part of Lions Club International, the Oakdale Lions Club gives sight. Like Lions throughout the world, we work toward the Lions’ mission of providing vision for all. Three years ago, we helped purchase two Spot Vision testing machines. In the fall, these devices are used by Oakdale Lions in cooperation with Oakdale and Riverbank Joint Unified School district staff to evaluate the eyesight of school children. Last year over 3000 children had their eyes evaluated. The Club also provides eye care for children as they are brought to our attention.
Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller and communities get better. That’s because Lions help where help is needed – in Oakdale, as well as, around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy.
Pacific Project Heroes
Pacific Project Heroes celebrated 11 years of service to the community in 2021 – keeping in step with our Mission Statement “Providing Support to the Veterans and First Responders that chose to Serve Our Nation and Communities so Selflessly”. Due to COVID-19 we were unable to celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2020 so in 2021 at our Annual Dinner Fundraiser we celebrated with a sellout crowd of over 460 guests. Because of the outpouring of generosity from sponsors and guests and with their patriotic enthusiasm we raised a record amount of funds that allowed us to carry on all our endeavors! We were also able to host our Sixth Annual Veterans Breakfast which is free to Veterans and their Families. Our Board of Directors and community members look forward every year to cook and serve this breakfast and to pay our respects and to honor our Veterans. Once again, this year we volunteered to help with the Oakdale Citizens Cemetery and Cub Scouts Pack 365 with Wreaths Across America, a day to Honor, Teach & Remember those who served our country by placing a wreath at the headstone, together we were able to lay a wreath at all 870 interred Veterans. We are pleased that we were able to provide funds in 2021 to the following organizations and to any first responders family who tragically lost a loved one in the line of duty, funds provided totaled over $28,000 dollars: Horses of Warriors, Officer Jimmy Inn’s Family, Wreaths Across America, Oakdale K-9 Association, Veterans Path Bugler across America, Oakdale High School Scholarships (3). We are proud of the accomplishments of the past year during such uncertain times and are filled with humble and patriotic pride for our country and our community that we can play an integral role for our Veterans and First Responders - God Bless America!
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2922
Incorporated since 1950, Oakdale’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2922 was named for World War I veteran Romain Schell.
For over 70 years, the group has been actively involved in supporting the Oakdale community, reflecting the changing faces of membership over the years – the faces of those who have defended our country by serving in a branch of the United States armed forces.
Veterans of all foreign wars, the current oldest member of the Oakdale Post is a WW2 vet.
The VFW provides Honor Guard and Color Guard Services at funerals or memorials and Wreaths Across America ceremonies. They participate in our local parades, i.e. Veterans Day, Rodeo and Christmas. The local chapter raised the funds and built the monument in Fish Park (N.W. Oakdale), honoring Oakdale resident William Fish who died in the Vietnam War.
According to Post Commander, Dan Vigil, Oakdale’s VFW raises money throughout the year with a fireworks booth, a golf tournament and participation at the Farmer’s Markets.
Over $7500 was donated this past year to many local organizations, including – OHS Sports Boosters and OHS Scholarship programs, uniforms for Oakdale Soccer and Baseball groups, Nor Cal Jr. Rodeo Assoc., local Vet and First Responder organizations, Horses of Warriors, Pacific Project Heroes, and Marine Corps Toys 4 Tots.
The VFW Post members are supportive of each other and always demonstrate the willingness to work with others to improve the quality of life in Oakdale.
Next week, look for Business of the Year and Junior Achievement nominees.