Volunteers fill stomachs to Give from the Heart

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: From left, Janice Driver, Alma Flores Valles, and Michael Andazola Sr. run the hot dog cart for the Give from the Heart event.

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – The 2nd annual Give from the Heart hotdog fundraiser was a hit Thursday, Sept. 20, as person after person left the area outside of Safford City Hall with arms bulging with hot dogs.

The program assists low-income residents aged 62 and older with their utility bills, freeing up money that would have been spent there to be used elsewhere.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Pepsi President Susan Decker, left, and office manager Patti Quinn bring back lunch for their employees.

This year, the hotdog sale raised about $550 for the program. All of the proceeds from the event go toward helping seniors.    

Safford City Council Member Michael Andazola Sr. was on hand helping city employees with the event.

“This is a very successful program, but we want to make it more of an annual event for everybody to come and participate,” Andazola said.

Organizer Janice Driver thanked sponsors for their generous donations that helped make the event possible.

“The more money we raise the more people we can help,” Driver said. “If we don’t raise money, then we have to stop our program. So, that’s why we’re always doing fundraisers. This is our second year to do the hot dog thing because we realized last year how successful it was.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Jonathon Reidhead with Modern Woodman makes cotton candy for the event.

Sponsors included Walmart and Pepsi, which donated supplies, and Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial, which had members volunteer their time to make cotton candy for the event.

Local Pepsi President Susan Decker was seen with office manager Patti Quinn purchasing a bushel of hot dogs to take back to the office. She said in addition to sponsoring the event, she also wanted to help with purchasing some of the food and bring it back to her own employees.