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Pancake lovers help bring free mental health treatment to soldiers

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The humble, unassuming pancake can be a mighty catalyst for change when it becomes part of a fundraiser, as it did Oct. 8 at St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church. A pancake breakfast spearheaded by volunteers from the Roseville church generated more than $1,100 for The Soldiers Project-Sacramento, which provides free, confidential psychological treatment for active-duty military and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their family members and loved ones. An additional $1,000 came from ConocoPhillips as part of its volunteer grant program, made possible by Mike Dindio, a church member who recently retired from the energy corporation. Dindio acted as volunteer chair for the pancake breakfast. “We just can’t say enough about Mike and the church’s efforts to help The Soldiers Project,” said Carolyn Fink, clinical director and outreach coordinator for the Sacramento office of The Soldiers Project. “It was the first time any community organization approached us and offered to put on a benefit event for The Soldiers Project.” Fink, who presented Dindio with a certificate of appreciation at the breakfast, said the money would go toward publicizing the non-profit and its need for additional volunteer therapists. “The need for mental health services among this population is literally exploding,” she said. ~Staff report