Much to Jill’s delight, Madelynn not only chose to celebrate her birthday in conjunction with the Challenge, but said those attending her party could donate money to support the troops rather than buy birthday presents for her.
“She said, ‘It would be fun for me, anyway,’” Jill said proudly.
“At first, I thought it would make my mother happy,” said Madelynn. “Then I saw I was doing this for somebody that really needs me. I want to honor the men that died for our country to give us the rights we have today.” She also hopes to honor her great-great-grandfather, a WWII veteran, and her grandfather, who served in Vietnam.
And so it’s gone in the ramp-up to the party-for-the-troops challenge started by Discovery Bay’s Frank Morgan as a way to raise money for local veterans and some of the organizations that provide services to members of the military. Since the Challenge – in which people everywhere are asked to throw a party, pass the hat and donate to the beneficiaries listed on the effort’s Web site – was announced, dozens of sponsors have jumped on board, and the list of parallel parties has begun to grow.
In addition to Madelynn, the latest participants stepping up in a big way are David Fidel with Clipper Spa Manufacturing in Walnut Grove, and Discovery Bay’s Dock Docktor, Ed McClelland. McClelland spotted a flag-themed hot tub at Fidel’s shop and told him about the effort. Fidel slashed the price on the $5,800 tub to just $2,000, and proceeds from a $5-per-ticket (five-for-$20) raffle will go toward the cause.
Between now and June 27, the tub will tour far East County, courtesy of McClelland. (See locations and dates below.) Locals are still being challenged to throw their own parties, but they’re also invited to the Marina on June 27. In addition to the Paddle for Fame (an attempt to further Discovery Bay’s current Guinness Book record for the most human-powered craft linked together), Red Barn Hot Rod is hosting a Car and Motorcycle show, 100 percent of the proceeds from which will support the cause.
For more on the What A Country Challenge, call Morgan at 925-383-5346. To enter the car show, get ideas for your own event or read about the beneficiaries and make a donation with PayPal, visit the event’s Web site, www.whatacountrychallnge.com. To learn more about the hot tub, stop by one of the following locations:
• June 12-14 at Bill Brandt Ford, 8100 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood
• June 15-16 at Aladino’s Pizza, 1555 Riverlake Road, Discovery Bay
• June 17-18 at Extreme Motorsports, 8445 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood
• June 19-20 at Ace Hardware, 8445 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood
• June 21-22 at Les Schwab Tire Center, 6361 Lone Tree Way, Brentwood
• June 23-24 at Harvest Park Bowl, 5000 Balfour Road, Brentwood
• June 25-26 at Spa & Salon at Discovery Bay, 2465 Discovery Bay Blvd.
• June 27: Car, Bike & Paddle For Fame, 5879 Marina Road, Discovery Bay
• June 28 at Boardwalk Grill, 5879 Marina Road, Discovery Bay