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Serving up holiday cheer at Manteca Ford breakfast

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Serving up holiday cheer at Manteca Ford breakfast

Volunteers from the Manteca Bowling Association serve a complimentary community breakfast for families and the less fortunate in the community.


POSTED December 26, 2012 12:40 a.m.

Phil Waterford has long believed that it takes a village to raise a child.

And in the case of his annual Christmas Eve community breakfast and toy giveaway, it was a true cooperative community effort. Non-profits, local businesses and residents bonded together to make sure that families that might not have the means at their disposal can still reap the benefits of the holidays by helping put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children that filtered through the dealership.

 “The greatest gift I’ve ever received was the gift of giving,” Waterford said. “Seeing someone who needs it get relief is a beautiful thing. And when you’re talking about the true meaning of Christmas, you have things like spending time with your family and people of the world embracing one another and forgetting about their differences.

“I’ve always said that it takes a village to raise a child, and we’re blessed that here in a community like Manteca people are willing to do what they can to help others that need it – we actually had to turn away volunteers this year.”

While everybody who showed up was treated to a home-style breakfast, it was the children that were the focal point of the festivities. Hundreds of toys lined the back wall of the dealership. They were distributed to those who waited in line for their chance to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

Michael Garcia said he’s been bringing his kids down to the event for the past two years. Garcia said he appreciates that there are people in the community like Waterford that are willing to invest the time in putting together something like Monday’s gathering.

“He does a lot for the community and I think that he deserves a lot of credit for the people that he helps out during the holidays,” Garcia said. “My boys love this. Not everybody is doing well right now, and this lightens that load for parents a little bit. You can just see how happy all of the kids are.”

And Waterford got some help from some unexpected places.

Lou Tidwell – the president of the Manteca Bowling Association – made sure that he had members of his group volunteering at the dealership bright and early to tackle the job of cooking the food that fed everybody from the homeless to the humble.

Last year, Tidwell said, was the first time that his group played a part. They now plan on coming back every year that they’re asked.

“I just think that this does so many good things for the community,” Tidwell said. “As long as they keep asking, I’ll keep coming. I think this is something that’s wonderful for the families.”

The event was also sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank The food bank arranged for the extensive donation of toys. Crystal Dairy also helped with the event as leftover cases of milk, chocolate milk and orange juice was sent home with the families.

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