Community Involvement

CMC staff raise $4,500 for charity through desserts

Fingerprint, caution tape and magnifying glass highlight a cake with the letters CMC ISU on it.
CMC's Investigative Services Unit turned in a detailed entry to help raise funds for a children's charity.

By Lt. J. Hill

On Feb. 13, staff members at the California Men’s Colony (CMC) hosted their sixth annual Dessert Silent Auction, with all proceeds being donated to the Children’s Resource Network of the Central Coast (CRNCC). The fundraiser is just one more example of CDCR’s community involvement.

Eight men and women stand in front of a cake display table as part of a fundraiser for a children's charity.
From left are Chief Deputy Warden Danny Samuel, Office Technician Maegan Cain, Office Technician Sara Harvey, CRNCC Founder Lisa Ray, CRNCC Programs Manager Lori Klemowicz, Warden Josephine Gastelo, Classification and Parole Representative Brian Speer, and Associate Warden (A) Central Operations Scott Wilhite.

The charity was founded by Lisa Ray in order to help impoverished and homeless children in the region. The group distributes clothing, school supplies and basic hygiene products to children and teens, while helping restore and preserve their sense of self-worth by treating them with respect, dignity and love, according to the organization.

Ray, who helped judge the silent auction entries, recognizes children do judge each other’s physical appearance, hygiene and clothing condition. She said giving deodorant to a homeless child who cannot bathe helps them to feel less self-conscious, even if for a moment. Giving new socks to a child whose parents cannot afford laundry services helps ensure that child will not be embarrassed by the condition of their clothes.

CMC Warden J. Gastelo, known for her spirit of charity and community, has inspired the same actions among her staff. The silent auction, which included desserts, gift certificate packages and individual baked good sales, raised $4,521 dollars for the children’s charity.

Warden Gastelo and Ray offered their heartfelt thanks to the staff of CMC for working together to make this event successful and for helping those in need.

Star Wars BB-8 cake with other themed items.
Honorable Mention for the 2020 Dessert Auction “Most Creative Entry” was presented by the Medical, Nursing and Mental Health Staff for their Star Wars themed entry. This display sold for over $400, making it the top fundraising entry.