The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Canadian Enclave Benefits Local Non-Profits

Snowbird Community of Rancho Ventana Holds Fund-Raiser

By Robert JENSEN
The Desert Independent

February 12, 2012

BLYTHE, Calif If a non-citizen could be nominated for the Blythe Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year this spring, a firm recommendation could be made for Canadian visitor Laurel "Sonny" Birch.

Mr. Birch spends six months out of the year in the snowbird community of Rancho Ventana abutting the Blythe Municipal Golf Course. "Sonny" has been a major benefactor to the Blythe Senior Center and Harmony Kitchens for the past two years; volunteering his cooking skills every Thursday, acting as the main Turkey carver during the holidays and garnering goods and clothing for the staff to hand out to the special clients they serve. In addition, Mr. Birch has held a Golfcart "Poker Run" for the past two years that has contributed much-needed cash for the operation of not only Harmony Kitchens but for the Blythe Emergency Food Pantry as well.

This time around, the American/Canadian Snowbirds Golfcart Poker Run gleaned over $4,000 that was split between the two centers. In addition, a Putting Challenge, a Silent Auction and a dinner/dance at Rancho Ventana doubled last year's contributions. As a regular volunteer at Harmony, Mr. Birch took the time to also purchase much-needed cookware, blenders, mixers and knives that he noted was lacking. This past Thursday morning, "Sonny" brought the items as well as contributions to be presented to Harmony President Francis "Ted" Arneson as well as Food Pantry President Jim Green.

The Harmony Board of Directors and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank "Sonny" and the rest of the community of Rancho Ventana for their contributions. This small community is indeed been a blessing to the needy people of Blythe.

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