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Manteca folks come through for 200 families
Players with Northgate Little League wave signs during their turkey drive over the weekend. The youth baseball outfit collected 39 turkeys for Second Harvest Food Bank. - photo by Photo Contributed

Nearly 200 more families will enjoy a Thanksgiving Day turkey thanks to the sacrifice of many over the weekend.

The Manteca Fire Department turned up the heat on patrons and passers-by outside Safeway, generating 100 turkeys, a collection of canned goods, as well as cash donations for Second Harvest Food Bank.

Northgate Little League hit a home run months before the season’s first games. The youth baseball outfit rounded up 39 birds, waving cardboard signs near their diamonds at Neil Hafley School.

“I couldn’t be more proud to live in a community like this that pulls together and makes sure people are not going without,” said Jessica Vaughn, community development director for Second Harvest Food Bank.

“There is a lot of generosity in this small area. I try to tell people to come and sit in the lobby and see all the people who come in with canned goods and donations. It’s impressive. We’re grateful for each and every one of them.”

Vaughn was there to watch CrossFit Excel’s donation take shape, photographing the local gym’s Turkey Day Throwdown on Saturday morning.

Under the leadership of Danny Lehr, Nick Hobby and Terry Dickman, Excel turned over 39 butterballs, many of which were delivered on Monday morning.

“That will feed 39 families in the immediate Manteca area,” Vaughn said. “They don’t have a direct connection. They came up with the idea last year. They said, ‘How does this sound? … Perfect!’ It was out of the goodness of their heart that they did it.”

Speaking of that soft spot in your chest …

Crossroads Towing and AAA collected 26 birdies – and then in a marketing coup for the roadside service providers, ensured the safe delivery of another donation.

Dave Edwards of Crossroads Towing came to the aid of another on Thursday, when in a pouring rain he picked up the donation and hand-delivered it to the Second Harvest Food Bank himself.

“(Edwards) was gracious enough to help another person donate their turkeys,” Vaughn said. “He picked them up in the pouring rain.”