The perfect excuse to chow down Paula Deen style is just around the corner. Today the public is encouraged to attend a pasta fundraiser for Fremont native Sierra LaMar.
Donations from the pasta feed will help fund search efforts for the missing teen, who was last seen at her Morgan Hill home over a month ago. Organizers are hoping to attract about 500 attendees to the event, which will have live entertainment, pasta donated from four restaurants and a raffle.
“We're looking for people who want to donate anything for the raffle,” said Davina Joy, who is coordinating the event with Fremont resident Joanna Isom. “Joanna and I are pretty much taking everything at this point. I have some friends who are donating coffee baskets, memberships from 24 Hour Fitness and baskets for teenage girls filled with [items like] clothing and jewelry.”
In addition to raising funds to man the search center, the pasta feed is being held to ensure Sierra’s face remains in the public’s eye, and to hopefully encourage more volunteers to participate.
“We’re tying to get more searchers,” Joy said. “People must be under the impression that we’re OK with what we’ve got, that we have a sufficient amount, but we need more.”
Joy said an average of 500 to 600 volunteers have turned out for most searches, but that the amount seems to be dropping as the number of days in Sierra’s disappearance continues to rise.
One of the first searches for Sierra, held shortly after her disappearance on March 16, brought about 800 volunteers to Morgan Hill, but that number eventually decreased to about 500 and then to as little as 150 last Sunday, Joy said.
“We need as many searchers as we can get. It's like, ‘Oh my God, we’ve got to get more people here,'" she said. "Call them out, we’ve got to call them out--and of course feed them, right, haha.”
Joy said Sierra’s father, Steve, pitched the idea of holding the event up North so the Fremont community could be involved as well. Steve currently resides in Fremont, where Sierra had attended high school at one point.
Everything that isn’t used at the pasta feed will be donated to the the makeshift search center at Burnett Elementary School that KlaasKids volunteers use to coordinate searches for Sierra. In early April, KlassKids Founder Marc Klaas sent , but more donations are needed.
“Our ability to support Morgan Hill’s unprecedented response to Sierra’s case has challenged our ability to maintain adequate supplies,” Klaas wrote in an email. “Hopefully, we will locate and return her very soon, but if not, we will continue to search.”
Joy said gift cards from Walmart are among the most needed, along with items like paper plates.
Tickets for the May 4th pasta feed are between $5 and $20 and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 510-376-0447 or 510-377-2558.
Another search party for Sierra is set to take place Saturday, April 28. Volunteers are asked to arrive at Burnett Elementary School in Morgan Hill between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. for registration.
For previous coverage of the Sierra LaMar case, refer to the Sierra LaMar Disappearance: Comprehensive Updates and Information page on Gilroy Patch.