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Pulling Strings 2020 Drive-Thru a huge success

Traffic lines up for dinner on Saturday, Oct. 3, at UCPCC's Arts and Technology Center in Fresno.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, UCPCC served more than 400 dinners during the Pulling Strings Drive Thru, raising more than $8,000 for the nonprofit.

The event sold out after it was featured in a story by Bethany Clough of The Fresno Bee.

Chef Keith Allen puts the final touches on dinner.

Pulling Strings is typically a sit-down dinner held in November. But because of the pandemic, UCPCC was forced to change things up, especially since we have cancelled three fundraisers that benefit the programs we offer children and adults with disabilities since our centers closed to students in March.

This year, chef and UCPCC board Vice President Keith Allen and his crew of helpers created the dish that put the former Nicola’s restaurant on the map – stuffed steak – alongside vegetables, salad, cannolis donated by Famous Ray’s Northside Deli and wine donated by 3 Oaks Vineyard, all of it served in a takeout fashion as diners drove up to UCPCC’s Arts and Technology Center in Fresno to pick up their meals.

“I felt the event went really well,” says UCPCC Executive Director Roger Slingerman. “We had a large turnout and had to turn away more than 150 people - a good problem to have!”

UCPCC is immensely grateful for Allen and his crew of helpers, the volunteers who turned out to help make the night a success and the businesses and individuals who combined to help sponsor the event, including Platinum Sponsors Payroll People Inc. and Fresno First Bank; Gold Sponsors Robinson’s Interiors, Pigott Financial, Ray and Conni Martens and Central Valley Regional Center; Silver Sponsors Hobb’s Grove, McDonald’s and ABC30; Bronze Sponsor Toni Porter CPA; and in-kind donors Famous Ray’s, 3 Oaks Vineyard and Sam’s Party Rental.

Due to the popularity of this year’s event, Slingerman and staff are considering another Pulling Strings takeout dinner in the spring.

"With the success of the event, we will look at doing a similar event next spring and again next fall," Slingerman says.

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter at and follow UCPCC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for further details on future events.

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