Wild game dinner benefits children with dyslexia

| February 25, 2019

One of the many volunteers serves alligator to attendees of the Ninth annual Wild Game Dinner held, Feb. 23 at Chili Crossroads Bible Church. Jen Jones | Beacon

FRESNO – The Ninth annual Wild Game Dinner was held Feb. 23 at Chili Crossroads Bible Church with all benefits going to the church’s tutoring program for children with dyslexia.

All 218 tickets for both meal times were sold out and people still arrived at the door, hoping to purchase last minute tickets. Pastor Neal Dearyan said, “It’s wonderful so many people want to be here and we are going to find a place for everyone to sit.” Pastor Dearyan opened the program by giving away door prizes – a pack of hammerhead shark jerky and an auto safety kit. “I am so thankful for all of the businesses that generously donated items for door prizes.”

A video was shown that explained about dyslexia and how the tutoring program is helping children from the area. “Dyslexia is just a different way of learning,” said Dearyan. He said that his daughter has dyslexia and used to avoid reading. “She was nine years old and avoided reading. Now, she’s 21 and costing me a lot of money because she has an Amazon Kindle account and is always reading. This is the kind of problem we want to create for families in the area – strong readers with piles of books, not children who avoid reading.”

Dearyan said the Chili Learning Center works with local schools to help children. “We have 23 students and can have 100. We want to get the word out to families who may be struggling and hope that we can help them.” Information on the program can be found at www.chililearning.org.

Attendees of the dinner were looking forward to trying several types of meat, including alligator, bison, turtle soup and venison. For those who purchased the premiere ticket, kangaroo, beef tenderloin, jumbo shrimp and walleye would also be served. Along with the several types of meat, mashed potatoes, baked beans, rolls, and the church’s “famous” pizza were served.

Anyone who purchased a ticket for the dinner was welcome to compete in the chili and atomic wing cook-off. Eight different types of chili were waiting for local judges to choose the best.

Todd Herriman was one of the many volunteers at the dinner and has been a member of the church for about eight months. “We came to the wild game dinner last spring and really liked what we saw.” He and his family became members soon after. “I’ve been to about a hundred churches and I’ve never seen another one that has a pastor who cares as much as he (Pastor Neal) does. He works so hard to help everyone.” Herriman said the church has programs Sunday, Wednesday and Fridays for children and youth. “They really get the kids involved – like today.  The kids are working hard, having fun and learning to serve the Lord.”

Herriman was excited to try the kangaroo and shared that he had already grabbed a piece. “It was amazing.”

Dearyan said he wasn’t sure how many volunteers were at the church to help with the dinner, but that he was thankful for every one of them. “This is why we are here. God showed his love for us and we want to give it back to others – to help in the community.”

Category: Faith

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.