John Rieping/The Madera Tribune Food bank executive director Ryan McWherter presents a Volunteer of the Year Award to Betty Stark at the 5th annual Madera County Food Bank dinner Thursday.
Madera County Food Bank has named 82-year-old Betty Stark as its Volunteer of the Year and Camarena Health as its Partner of the Year.
“She’s just a shining light to all those that she encounters. She just always has a smile, always has joy on her face. And she calls me Bryan,” said Ryan McWherter, food bank executive director. “Yeah, she has literally called me Bryan for six years. Now this is how much I love her: I have never ever tried to fix that. It’s all good. She can call me Bryan all she wants.”
More than 300 diners helped Madera County Food Bank raise about $37,000 at its 5th annual dinner Thursday at the Madera District Fairgrounds. Catered by Madera Community Hospital, the banquet featured a silent, dessert and live auction inside Hatfield Hall.
“I used to work down the street where they did distributions,” said auctioneer Tim Sisil. “If you don’t get an opportunity to see that process, I can tell you it’s labor intensive … There’s a lot of needy people in the county that we live in … Great people who are not as blessed as we are.”
Madera Mayor Andy Medellin offered a 21-minute keynote address that told of new fire station plans, an addition to the city’s newest industrial park, local nostalgia, and a Christian reflection on seeing and helping Christ in those we meet in distress. He concluded by telling of a student he met at a school on Madera’s east side.
“After the speech, a kid walked up to me and looked me dead in the eye and he…
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