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Lines were long all day Friday at Smokehouse 41 (Photos by Sarah Jackson)

Smokehouse 41 Fundraiser Benefits Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club

By Sarah Jackson, Special to Sierra News Online

OAKHURST — When Smokehouse 41 owners heard news of the difficulties facing the Oakhurst chapter of the Boys and Girls Club, they decided to help.

And help they did! Friday, the Oakhurst business donated 100 percent of its daily sales to the club.

And all of the popular restaurant’s employees donated their wages for the day too.

“We function as a family here, and we all decided to do this together. I am so proud of our people for everything they’re doing today,” said co-owner Diana Sherwood.

“That’s the culture we have here, and it’s been great to see the positive impact this is having on our employees. They’re saying it feels good to give back,” Sherwood added.

Sherwood says the closure of the Boys and Girls Club affected her employees directly, as at least one is a parent with children who attend there.

Other employees at Smokehouse 41 have siblings who use the club or were served by the Boys and Girls Club as youth themselves.

Co-owner Adam Hildebrand said they chose Friday as the day to donate because, “it’s our busiest day of the week. We thought about opening on Sunday to do it, but we didn’t think we’d raise as much for them as we would on a Friday.”

When all of the receipts were totaled, Hildebrand said the event raised $7,582.45 for the Boys and Girls Club.

Foothills Hospitality Group — the company managing Oakhurst’s three newest hotels — also donated $500 to the fundraiser.

The Oakhurst chapter of the Boys and Girls Club has assisted local youth ages 6 to 18 since 1998.

During the school year the club sees an average of more than 80 members come to the facility every day after school to participate in arts, sports and educational programs.

Youth also receive daily, one-to-one help with their homework and support with SAT prep and college enrollment. As much as 90 percent of their annual operating budget comes from donations from area service clubs and businesses as well as from private individuals.

Donations also can be made online at https://www.oakhurstbgc.org

Smokehouse 41’s community spirit was echoed by several other private businesses and organizations Friday.

Dawn Smith with the Sierra Sunrise Rotary volunteered at the restaurant during dinner shift, selling raffle tickets and giving out information on their upcoming charity golf tournament.

The raffle tickets are $10 each and offer a chance at three different vacation packages. Tickets can be purchased at the Sierra Sunrise Rotary meetings and will be drawn at the Oakhurst Community Fall Festival on Sunday, October 13th. Funds from the raffle will be donated in part to the Boys and Girls Club.

Sierra Sunrise Rotary is also donating a portion of the proceeds from the Annual Dale Miller Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday, September 28th to the Oakhurst Boys and Girls Club. The tournament will be held at the River Creek Golf Course in Ahwahnee. More information can be found on the Rotary Club’s Facebook page, or by emailing John Tait at jtait01@sti.net.

Foothills Hospitality Group also provided ten employees to assist Smokehouse 41 with the fundraiser. Foothills Hospitality employees volunteered for everything from dish washing, serving, and hosting, to closing and cleaning.

And food distributors Sysco Central Valley and JD Food of Fresno donated food and products to support Friday’s fundraiser.

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Sierra News Online

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