YVC program director Cindy Rose said the children raised $841 to help fund program activities, by helping Centro employees with their workload from 4 – 10 p.m., Tuesday night. She said that $341 came directly from donations, and the other $500 was a percentage of the sales that Centro made during the event. Since their percentage came to only $440, she said the pizzeria rounded the figure up, and just donated the rest to make it an even number.
She said the funds would go a long way to help. Her current operating budget is nil, and she said that operating with a budget of zero does not allow YVC volunteers as many opportunities as she wishes the volunteer center could provide to them.
“A lot of service projects that we do we have to get the materials donated before we can even do the projects,” Rose said. “And we have our YVC summit, which is our annual event, and that costs about $200 per child plus transportation, and it’s back in Kansas City.”
Centro Woodfire Pizzeria owner Mark Baruffi said Rose first approached him to see if Centro was interested in sponsoring YVC. For a $500 sponsorship, YVC members would wear Centro T-shirts while working on service projects around the community.
“We did a similar (fundraising) event over the summer for the (Canyon Creek) Women’s Crisis Center and were able to raise a decent amount of money for them,” he said. “So I made a suggestion to Cindy that we could make them a little more money by going that route, than by just doing a straight sponsorship.”
He said the youth volunteers were great to work with and eager to get their hands dirty.
For the most part Baruffi said they bused tables and helped to roll forks. However, one youngster was particularly quick, and he said that before they knew what was happening, he was at a table with an iPod taking an order.
“So the server walks up to him and goes, ‘Are you okay? Do you need some help?’, and the kid says, 'Hey, no, I’ve got this’,” he said. “So, they did really good, some might have been a bit overly ambitious, but they did good.”
17-year-old Sariah Adams said she had a lot of fun at the Centro Pizza fundraiser and would love to go and do it again. She said her favorite part was getting to be able to be involved with the community in a way that they could spread awareness about what they do, and serve them by helping take care of their dinner needs in some way.
She said she was surprised to learn that they had raised so much money Tuesday night, but thought the money would go towards many good service projects in the community.
“The original donation would have just been $500,” she said. “For the extra $300 in just one night, that was well worth the time invested.”
Rose said that YVC volunteers are between the ages of 11 and 18. She said that the 50 registered members come from Cedar High School, Cedar Middle School, Canyon View High School and Canyon View Middle School.
Beginning in April, Rose said YVC would begin having once a month meetings in Parowan so that students there could become more involved with the program.
“My goal is to get them as involved as possible,” she said. “This way they might be more excited about coming out to volunteer with us this summer.”
Rose said the next fundraiser they are putting together would be a high class gala at the Heritage Center Theater with food catered from The Garden House. She said there would be a silent auction with prizes such as a weekend to Disney Land, Lagoon Passes and a hotel stay in Lake Powell – complete with a speedboat for a day.
Rose said she arranged to have YVC founder David Battey as the keynote speaker. She said her hope is to raise around $5,000 so that more youth volunteers could attend the next YVC Summit in Kansas City.
The youth group’s projects have ranged from simple garbage clean ups to the daunting task of painting Park Discovery Rose said. She said that the kids are always busy with projects, and continue to look for new ways to serve the community.
Adams said that some of her favorite volunteer projects have involved the senior centers in the community. She said she had gone to Emerald Pointe more than once to help residents, and that she really enjoys getting to know them and listening to their stories.
The Youth Volunteer Inaugural Gala is March 20, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Heritage Center Theater, Festival Hall, 105 N. 100 East. Cedar City, Utah, 84720. Tickets will not be sold the night of the gala, so they must be purchased in advance from the volunteer center.
More information is available at www.facebook.com/ironcountyyvc, or by calling Cindy Rose at the Volunteer Center of Iron County, (435) 867-8384.