By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Westside Ministries to celebrate 30 years
westside coats pic
Families line up outside Westside Ministries' Columbia Street facility to receive a coat and a free haircut in December 2013. The organization will be celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. - photo by Journal file photo

This year marks Westside Ministries’ 30th year and the organization invites the community to help it celebrate with a picnic dinner that will include a special anniversary service and dance performance.

Since its inception, Westside Ministries has dedicated itself to serve as an outpost to neighborhood children on the Westside of Turlock. The ministry is dedicated to teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and provides social and educational opportunities, such as a feeding program and dance classes, to help those in the community become leaders and thrive.

“The ministry has now grown to a point where we’re feeding over 200 people a day and working with 600 children a year in various activities,” said founder and director JoLynn DiGrazia. “It’s mind boggling.”

 The celebration will feature an anniversary service with Roger Ovalle, North Pacific Latin American District Superintendent, who will be speaking on community revitalization in the context of Westside Ministries.

Guests will also be served a gourmet meal, part of which will be using vegetables and fruits that kids from the ministry have grown and harvested. Some of the meals will even be served by the ministry’s Community Cultivators 4H club.

Additionally, the dinner will come with a music and dance performance from the Center for Urban Performance and Service, or C.U.P.S. Provided by the ministry, these classes train both children and adults to become skillful worshippers of Christ through the creative arts.

Westside Ministries will also provide activities for children at the event, as well as organized tours of the property.

“Our goal is to attract not only people who now about our ministry, but people who don’t,” concluded DiGrazia.  

The picnic dinner will take place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 18 at Westside Ministries on 950 Columbia St. Tickets cost $30 per person and $10 per child. For those interested in attending, tickets can be purchased at Westside Ministries or online at