On Sunday, August 14, Don Quijote hosted a fundraiser for VNA Meals on Wheels of Porter County (a program of VNA Hospice NWI) to help continue its mission to serve over 250 seniors a day, with a nutritious meal and a wellness check. Guests got to enjoy a delicious four-course, wine paired meal as well as a 50/50 raffle, live and silent auctions, and an inspiring testimonial from volunteer Tim Jones. Everyone had a wonderful night, but the true success is in the positive impact the event will have on the community’s seniors.
Tickets to the event were sold for $125 each and provides an astonishing one month of meals for a senior in need. Due to the generosity of Don Quijote owners – Carlos Rivero and Elena Jambrina, 100% of the ticket sale proceeds will go directly to the clients served by the VNA Meals on Wheels program. The fundraiser was held to help the program purchase a second van to expand and deliver meals more efficiently in South County, as well as to help underwrite meal costs for seniors who cannot afford to purchase their meals.
By the end of the event, a grand total of over $40,000 was raised as well.
“It makes such a huge difference. When you talk about filling a room with almost 100 people and think about how many meals that’s going to provide, it’s huge. That’s a month worth of meals that are going to be provided. It’s very impactful,” said Maria Galka, Director of Development.
The Don Quijote Benefit Dinner raised more than just money to support the program and ensure its continuation. The event also raised an incredible amount of awareness. People from all over the community, whether they were already volunteers for VNA Meals on Wheels of Porter County or it’s parent organization – VNA Hospice NWI or just loyal Don Quijote customers, learned more about the program.
“We want to raise awareness both for people who want to support a program like this and for people who might know a friend or neighbor or family member who would benefit from something like this, and don’t realize it’s available right here,” said Galka.
During the event, Bob Franko, President, and CEO of the VNA Hospice NWI stressed that it’s not only good, healthy meals that make this program so important to seniors, but the human interaction and bonding the program provides are just as vital to the well-being of seniors.
“For them, it’s the only knock on the door that they’re going to get all day and the only human contact that they’re going to have. All our volunteers get to know all these people well and build relationships with them. So, it’s just a vital resource in this community,” said Franko.
Overall, the event was a huge success. Franko was incredibly grateful to work with Carlos, Elena and the incredible wait staff at Don Quijote. This isn’t the first time Don Quijote and VNA Hospice NWI have worked together to make a difference, and it won’t be the last.
“Carlos and Elena are just such great people. They’re a blast to work with. It’s so good to work with people who have such a deep commitment to the community, and have such a big passion about something,” said Franko.
Rivero has been giving back to the Northwest Indiana community ever since he first opened Don Quijote in 1985. He was happy to see the event be so successful and raise so much money for the VNA Meals on Wheels of Porter County program.
“I thank everybody for being so generous and helping me to accomplish this,” said Rivero.
The Don Quijote Benefit Dinner will have a lasting impact on the VNA Meals on Wheels of Porter County program and ensure that the community’s seniors continue to receive quality meals and interaction. VNA Hospice NWI serves not just Porter County, but all over Lake, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, and Starke counties as well. Fundraising opportunities like the Don Quijote Benefit Dinner will continue to make the VNA Meals on Wheels of Porter County program and VNA Hospice NWI’s mission of Making Best Days Possible, all that more of a reality.
To learn more about VNA Hospice of Northwest Indiana and its mission of Making Best Days Possible, visit https://www.vnanwi.org/.