Pilot Club to host annual Dessert Extravaganza

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Mouth watering desserts to tantalize your palette are sure to lure you to the Los Lunas Pilot Club's third annual Dessert Extravaganza from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 21, at the Peralta Memorial United Methodist Church, 25 Wesley Road.

It is the club's largest yearly fundraiser and the proceeds will help the club continue to provide free bicycle helmets to area children and bring brain safety education to elementary students through its entertaining puppet program.

The event will have a silent auction and offer a variety of items, including movie tickets, live trees for spring planting, golf outings, oil changes, jewelry, kitchenware, ice cream and lunches, among others.

Raffle tickets will also be sold for an opportunity to win a gift basket valued at $250. You can buy one for $1 or seven for $5.

Tickets for all-you-can-eat sandwiches and desserts are $10 per person, and there will be door prizes as well.

The Pilot Club of Los Lunas is a non-profit volunteer organization with a mission to educate children and families about brain injury prevention.

One of the signature programs is called BrainMinders, and Pilot Club members perform puppet shows to teach elementary students how to protect their brains for life.

The wise, old owl puppet introduces the concepts, then the puppet Penny Panda stresses wearing seat belts in the car. Martin Monkey teaches playground safety, while Gerald Giraffe talks about wearing helmets when riding a bicycle or skateboarding to protect their head and brain.

At the Dessert Extravaganza, raffles will be held and a silent auction to raise money for the club's program, which also provides scholarships for high school seniors.

The club also volunteers for community service projects. Last year, club members helped senior citizens make Christmas ornaments at the Good Life Assisted Living Center in Los Lunas. They also collected bath towels for the Valencia Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, and partnered with the Alzheimer's Association Albuquerque Chapter to sponsor a health fair for caretakers. The club also supports Blue Star Mothers, Coats for Kids, Adopt a Park and others.

"Mainly, what we do is, we go into the elementary schools and we have a group of puppeteers who do a little puppet show to show them how to protect their brain when they're riding a skateboard, crossing the street … playing on the playground," said Evelyn Orona, one of two directors. "It's a really cute little skit."

The Pilot Club of Los Lunas hopes they can grow their membership so they will have more puppeteers to go to more schools, Orona said.

The Los Lunas group is sister to the Belen Pilot Club. When Belen member Rhona Baca Espinoza was the governor of the Southwestern district, she expanded membership by inspiring a Los Lunas chapter.

"She's like our mother hen," Orona said.

Espinoza also serves as the Pilot Club of Belen historian and public relations chairwoman, and fundraising coordinator at the international level. She is also on the grants board. In July, Espinoza will begin her service as Pilot International chaplain, she said.

The Pilot Club was founded in 1921 as a volunteer service organization. The club is international, and members are business and professional leaders who share the desire to give back to their communities and make the world a better place to live.

The Los Lunas Pilot Club always welcomes new members, and invites anyone interested in the club to call Agnes Vallejos, president, at 859-0745, or email agnes.vallejos@alz.org, or call Lorie Tout, president elect, at 866-5137, or email nmtout@yahoo.com.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.