‘JD’ John Donovan Benefit–another CCAA inspiration

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On the heels of the 70’s Reunion, which connected so many of us, and with that feeling of love in the air, there was a cancer fund benefit held for alumni John Donovan who was suffering from non-hodgkin lymphoma.  Because of his illness, John could not resume work in his trade as a carpenter, and his medical bills and other expenses were mounting.

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Marilyn Johnson, alumni class of ‘1977 partnered to hold a benefit for John in Pescadero.  It would be a wild game feed, with all food donated.  There would also be a raffle and a silent auction with all prizes donated as well.  Even the music that night would be a donation, with all funds going directly to John and his family.

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Alumni Jack Quinlan would partner with Marilyn to make this benefit a reality.  Here in the kitchen of the Pescadero IDES Hall, he and alumni Gary Francis, Allen Jones and others prepare the food for the feast.

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Alumni Allen Jones shows the gigantic pot of chili he’s cooking for the evening feast.

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They have done a wonderful job in setting up the IDES for the hoards of visitors that evening.  Marilyn prepared lovely flower centerpieces which contained bullets and shell casings to symbolize this wild game feed event.

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The organizers really had no idea what the turn-out would be like, but it exceeded their wildest expectations.  Classmates poured in the doors from the moment they opened.

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People flew in from out of state and even out of country to attend the event, and to offer aid to a fellow classmate in need.

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It was almost like a second smaller reunion, and the spirit of love and compassion for our fellow classmate was palpable.

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It was heartwarming to see classmates such as Alejandro Hnatt, who had his own benefit years ago when he became paralyzed from a terrible accident.

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Although the CCAA hadn’t been formed yet, several future board members would attend this event; here is one pictured with the man of the hour himself, Mr. John Donovan.  And while not pictured, Anne Galle is roaming about this grand event and a seed of an idea is beginning to germinate in her head.

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An outpouring of alumni and love.

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Alumni that spanned four decades.

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Alumni Grant Walters and his band Big Crawdaddy played for free, and Grant MC’d the entire event as well.

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There was a raffle with donated prizes

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The food for the wild game feed was all donated and prepared by alumni-from fresh crab to Venison and beyond.

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There was a slide show of John’s life to amuse and entertain

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Chair Anne Galle saw this amazing room full of love and compassion and was inspired to form a non-profit organization of alumni who could raise funds to do exactly this sort of thing.

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The 70’s reunion planted a seed in Anne’s brain.  John’s benefit planted another.  And before long, these seeds would grow roots, and the CCAA would be born.

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