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April 16, 2014

Pasta dinner proceeds help Troy families in need

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

A forkful of pasta could mean the world to a family in need.

In its 40th year, Troy People Concerned “is a service organization supporting Troy residents in times of need with assistance, information and referrals,” according to the organization website.

“Forty years ago, groups from local churches talked about and knew the need in the community and stepped forward,” said Cindy Stewart, secretary of the board of directors for Troy People Concerned. “There are not a lot of other organizations like this in other cities.”

The Spring Pasta Dinner at the San Marino Club April 24 is the organization’s major fundraiser, Stewart added. The event will include a silent auction, face painting for children, music by Dan Kuchar, a magician, caricatures and a raffle.

“Due to the recent economic downturn in metro Detroit, the past three years have been busy ones for Troy People Concerned,” said Doris Nelson, Troy People Concerned director, in a prepared statement. “Our nonprofit organization continues to receive calls for assistance from people who have lost their jobs or are facing serious medical or other financial situations. In some cases, Troy People Concerned was able to help Troy residents by providing assistance with utility bills, rent or mortgage payments.”

Those who Troy People Concerned have helped last year include a medically disabled single mom who has a 9-year-old daughter and who requested help with her electric bill. The mom and daughter had recently left a shelter and  qualified for subsidized housing, but fell behind in paying the electric bill because they had to buy medication for the girl. After verifying the family circumstances, Troy People Concerned referred them to various prescription programs and paid the woman’s $204 electric bill.

In another case, a man lost his job and had to have surgery, making him temporarily unemployable. After verification, Troy People Concerned approved $200 for his rent. In another instance, a single 45-year-old father with four children, ages 7-14, lost his home due to a fire, and Troy People Concerned assisted him with $400 in gift cards to help purchase necessities.

The group is currently looking for an accountant to volunteer as treasurer for the organization when the current volunteer leaves the position. Anyone interested in donating a couple of hours a week should call Stewart at (248) 524-1147. The group meets once a month. 

The Spring Pasta Dinner will be held 5-8 p.m. April 24 at the San Marino Club, 1685 E. Big Beaver. Participants should bring a nonperishable food item for the Troy People Concerned food pantry and will receive one free raffle ticket. The cost to attend is $15 for adults and $5 for children younger than 10. For information, call (248) 528-9199. Send ticket requests and checks, payable to Troy People Concerned, to Troy People Concerned, 2045 Austin Dr., Troy 48083. Visit www.troypeopleconcerned.org for more information. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.