Santa’s helpers do double duty as Manteca Recreation Department staffers.
Manteca Rec is helping stage three events that set the tone for the holidays for upwards of 2,200 kids from struggling families, nearly 150 seniors that have no family or are shut-ins, and countless youth and families that partake in the Christmas in the Park the department stages in partnership with the Manteca Chamber of Commerce as well as the Christmas at the Civic Center event.
“It really tugs at your heart,” Recreation Supervisor Brandy Clark said of the Christmas wish lists that the Stuff the Bus for Kids’ Sake effort receives from needy kids whose participation is verified by the Manteca Unified School District. “The first year I did (the Stuff the Bus effort), I was expecting kids to submit lists asking for toys. Many of them simply asked for underwear and socks.”
Clark told Manteca Rotarians at their meeting last week at Ernie’s Rendezvous Room that they make sure kids do get toys as well. The gifts are distributed at a dinner Manteca Rec hosts for the participating families.
Just as important as far as Clark is concerned are seniors that have no family in the area.
“We tend to forget them at Christmas,” she said.
Manteca Rec and the Manteca Senior Center launched the Angel Tree Project several years ago. Shut-ins and those at convalescent hospitals that have little or no visitors are identified and asked to submit a request for a small gift.
Clark recalls one elderly woman who received a gift delivered by firefighters and other volunteers giving her a call to thank the people involved and to say how much it meant to her as it made her Christmas. During the course of the conversation, Clark found out it was the first itime in more than 20 years the woman had received a Christmas gift.
“It means a lot to them to know that someone cared enough to give them a gift,” Clark said.
A Christmas tree is placed in the Manteca Senior Center lobby at 295 Cherry Lane from Nov. 30 through Dec. 13. Participants are asked to select a name tag from the tree and purchase an item on that senior’s wish list. Gift cards are also welcomed. If you have questions call 209.456.8650.
Stuff the Bus
for Kids’ Sake
There are two parts to the Stuff the Bus for Kids’ Sake effort. one involves program applications as well as people who may be interested in adopting a child or family by purchasing gifts and the other being three donation days.
Applications are being accepted through Dec. 6 from families with kids that may not be having a Christmas. To qualify, families must live within the Manteca unified School District and attend an MUSD school. Approval — based on information on file with the MUSD — is required before kids can receive gifts.
If you would like to adopt a child or a family or submit an application for participation, email email@example.com. The district also provides the effort with a list.
The toy, coat, and food drive is set for three dates at the Manteca Walmart, 1205 S. and Main St. They are Saturday, Dec. 2; Sunday, Dec. 3; and Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
The Manteca Educators Association along with the Silver Barons Motorcycle Club of Central California are helping with Stuff the Bus. If you can’t make one of the drives, there are donation barrels at the Manteca Senior Center, the Manteca Unified School District office, Manteca Trailer & Motorhome, and Eagle’s Nest Harley Davidson in Lathrop.
the Civic Center
Christmas at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., takes place Thursday, Nov. 30, and is hosted by the City of Manteca and with Mayor Steve DeBrum and Veronica DeBrum.
it starts at 6:30 p.m. with the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. Children are encouraged to bring their own handmade ornaments to hang on the tree. There will also be music and entertainment.
Then after that at 7 p.m., the celebration shifts to the Manteca Senior Center. The free event includes activities, children’s games, face painting, craft stations, story time, entertainment, music cookies, hot chocolate and photos with Santa.
Christmas in the Park
The two-day Christmas in the Park sponsored by the city and chamber is Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Library Park in downtown Manteca.
Both days will feature craft and food vendors, carolers and live music, a Christmas décor competition, children’s activities, and “reindeer” rides.
On Friday, Dec. 1, there will be an outdoor showing of the classic “A Christmas Story” at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, there will also be a snow hill to frolic on as well as an appearance by Disney princesses.
Vendor booths are $75 for non-profit, $100 for homemade crafts, and $125 for commercial.
Food booths are $ $250.
Fees for the decorating contest are $20 for commercial tree or scene, $15 for non-profit tree or scene, and $10 for a family tree.
Application forms for the booths and decoration contest can be found at manteca.org.
Santa’s Fun Run
A 5 kilometer Santa Run on Saturday, Dec. 2, has been added to the downtown Christmas holiday festivities as a fundraiser for the City of Manteca’s centennial celebration next year.
Those registering by Monday, Nov. 20, will receive a collectible Santa T-shirt featuring Manteca’s centennial logo. The entry fee is $20. Advance registration takes place at the Parks & Rec office, 252 Magnolia Ave.
Participants are encouraged to wear Christmas attire.
Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. at Library Park. The run begins at 7 a.m.
For questions, call 456.8600 or 823.6121.
Holiday parade Dec. 2
The 45th annual Manteca Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade takes place Saturday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m.
It starts at Library Park and heads east down Yosemite Avenue to Garfield Avenue on the east side of Manteca High.
This year’s theme is “Christmas Movie.”
The deadline for entries is Monday, Nov. 20. The entry fee is $50. Trophies go to first place winners while second and third places will receive ribbons.
Parade entry forms can be found at manteca.org.
For additional information contact the chamber at 823-6121.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org