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Free breakfast set for Monday at Manteca Ford
A van filled with toys awaits Manteca area children who will attend a Christmas Eve breakfast at Phil Waterfords Ford dealership in the 500 block of North Main Street at Edison. - photo by Photo Contributed

It’s a breakfast designed to give back to the community on Christmas Eve morning at the Manteca Ford dealership this Monday from 8 until 11 a.m.

It is the fifth year for the outreach by dealership owner Phil Waterford. Families typically line up early in the morning to be the first group of 93 to be invited into the makeshift dining hall where a complete breakfast is prepared by Frank Guinta of Chez Shari and his staff.

Waterford said a line forms around the corner from the front door past the parking lot before they are ready to open the doors for the breakfast feast.

The breakfast will include bacon, eggs, sausage, hot cakes, fruit and individual cartons of milk, chocolate milk and orange juice from Crystal Dairy.  A photographer is setting up in the back break room of the dealership to photograph the children and their families with Santa after they have finished their meals.

Every child 12 and younger is going to be given an age appropriate, wrapped toy after picture time is over for them.  Waterford said this year has been a real challenge because Pastor Mike Dillman – usually a central part of his breakfast team – is having his own brunch for the community on Sunday.

“I want to keep things in perspective,” Waterford said.  “That’s what Christmas is all about and Pastor Mike Dillman is going to lead us in prayer as there are so many things to be thankful for today.”

The Ford franchise owner said he couldn’t put the breakfast on without volunteers such as Frank Guinta preparing the food and a 70-year-old woman who has donated over 400 quilts – a hot commodity for those attending.

He lauded Guinta for his first class experience in food preparation and David Crocket of Nulaid Eggs in Ripon in assisting with the breakfast.  Also, Walgreens is giving a free flu inoculation for the first 150 at the breakfast.

Waterford also credited Starbucks Coffee, Oak Valley Bank and Cisco Foods for the part they are playing in preparing for the Monday event. 

“One of the biggest supporters so far is Mike Mallory and Joann Donges of Second Harvest Food Bank for delivering some 500 toys to us,” he said.

There will be white table cloths on the breakfast tables as the first group of 93 come through the front doors and take their seats.  When they are finished, clean table cloths will replace those first used.  It is going to be a first class experience, he said.

Waterford noted that the Habitat for the Humanities has donated a playhouse to the Agape Foster Family Villages to be raffled off on Monday.  There are 300 tickets available and the Ford dealership crew will set up the 4X6 foot structure at the winner’s home.  All of the proceeds are to benefit local foster kids, he said.

Ford has nominated the Manteca business man for recognition of his community endeavors.  Only six dealers in the U.S. and Canada have been nominated for the award from among 5,000 Ford and Lincoln Mercury franchise owners.

Waterford has been asked to attend an award dinner in Orlando, Florida on Feb. 8.