Celebration honors volunteers for Meals service

At the Norma Park Senior Center in Chula Vista, Meals on Wheels held its 50th Annual South County Event on Jan.27. This event is held to honor and celebrate dedicated volunteers to work diligently to deliver meals to local seniors in Chula Vista, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Paradise Hills, Bonita, National City, South San Diego, Eastlake, Coronado Caves, and San Ysidro.

Around 130 volunteers gathered for an elegant luncheon to celebrate a job well done. Along with the meal, they participated in an opportunity drawing to receive one of several prizes. Volunteers in attendance received certificates of recognition for their years of service.

“Wow, five decades of celebrating our South County volunteers—that’s almost hard to wrap my brain around!” said Brent Wakefield, president and CEO, Meals on Wheels San Diego County. “The need for our services is much greater in this part of the county and our volunteers help make magic happen every day by delivering to them rain or shine. We look forward to another 50 years of honoring our volunteers for the great work they do to keep our seniors happy, healthy, and independent all year round.”

Attendees also enjoyed an invocation by Rev. Victoria Freiheit, senior minister of the Community Congregational Church, as well as a presentation of the colors by the Chula Vista Police Department Senior Volunteer Program. There was a performance by Tysha L. Turner, Deputy Director of the Chula Vista City Clerk’s Office, who sang Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in dedication to the volunteers.

Chula Vista Mayor John McCann attended the event to celebrate the nonprofit’s milestone and presented a proclamation to longtime South County Center Director Chequita Falls who has led Meals on Wheels San Diego County’s volunteer efforts in South County for nearly two decades. McCann also proclaimed Jan. 27 is now Chequita Falls Day in the City of Chula Vista.

“I am here to make sure our volunteers feel appreciated because we could not do what we do without you,” said Falls. “We know that you all volunteer for different reasons. Most of all, I am really blessed to come to work.”

To close out the ceremony, attendees heard testimonies from Chula Vista resident and Meals on Wheels client, Pearl, and South County volunteer Judy McGuire.

“Meals on Wheels San Diego County is an essential part of our community, serving our seniors for over 50 years and we love them so much,” said McCann.

Meals on Wheels San Diego County is always in need of volunteers, especially in South County and for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can visit sandiegomealsonwheels.org.