Diners Perch Above Diamond Drive to Support United Way

Grafton Urbatsch and his brother Spencer have fun eating dinner Sunday on the overpass at Diamond Drive along with Jane Young, Rebekkah Varjabedian and Kathy Varjabedian. Photo by Kirsten Laskey
Emma Phillips, a member of the United Way Youth team, gets ready to serve a hungry crowd during Sunday’s Dinner over Diamond event. Photo by Kirsten Laskey
Event Chair Justin Dunn, left, along with United Way Youth Team members Jordyn Ortega, Luke Kachelemier and Acane Dunn help out during the Dinner over Diamond event Sunday afternoon. Photo by Kirsten Laskey

The lobby of Griffith Gymnasium was empty Sunday afternoon, except for stacks of pizza boxes on a folding table and a second table lined with plastic bowls filled with salad. Every few minutes a teenager sporting a white or black United Way tee-shirt would walk in to fill a tray and carry it outside to a hungry crowd of diners.

It was not your typical restaurant setting. Diners perched high above Diamond Drive on the high school overpass. While the salad and pizza dinner may have been an excuse to get out of the kitchen, it was also an opportunity to support a community organization.

A team of high school students hosted the “Dinner over Diamond” event, which was rained out a week earlier. Proceeds go to the United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM.)  The UWNNM Youth Team has organized several events to help support the organization. Fundraisers coming up include a High Tea on the Hill Oct. 20 at Los Alamos High School and a talent show.

The team also hosted the “Taste the Sky” fundraiser dinner at the Los Alamos Airport.

“It’s definitely really rewarding to be a part of the community and to give back to the community,” Youth Team member Emily Hopkins said.

Event Chair Justin Dunn said Dinner over Diamond is “probably the most creative event we have.”

Zia Credit Union sponsors the Youth Team and Zia CEO Dave Woodruff said, “The Youth Team is an easy one to get excited about.”

Morrie Pongratz, United Way Youth Team mentor, serves some hungry customers during the Dinner over Diamond event. Photo by Kirsten Laskey



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