The best deal in town Saturday morning can be found at Manteca Ford.
It is when 1,000 or so people — many who would not have a Christmas this year due to financial difficulties — will be treated to a free Christmas Eve breakfast while children 12 and under will receive gifts from Santa.
“It’s a magical thing,” Manteca Ford owner Phil Waterford said of the event that is now in its’ seventh year.
Waterford will open his North Main Street dealership Christmas Eve morn from 8 to 11 a.m. to serve a free breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon and eggs to anyone who drops by. A small army of volunteers are preparing the food.
There will be hot chocolate and coffee provided by Starbucks to keep people who arrive early warm as they stand in line.
“We’ll work to get people inside as quickly as possible,” Waterford promised.
Walgreens is giving the gift of health by providing free flu shots.
About the only think lacking is an abundance of gifts for kids.
“We are in dire need of gifts for boys as girls,” noted Pastor Mike Dillman.
Dillman, who will lead the opening breakfast prayer Saturday, said donated gifts appropriate for boys and girls through age 12 would be greatly appreciated. They can be dropped off the dealership any time today or this evening. The Marines have stepped forward to help but there is still a “significant shortfall” in gifts according to Dillman.
Others such as Police Chief Bick Obligacion — who gave a number of gift cards from In-and-Out Burger — have stepped up but there is still a shortage of a hundred or so gifts with just a day to go.
Waterford started the Christmas Eve tradition seven years ago “because there is a need and it’s the right thing to do.”
“This is my favorite time of the year,” Waterford added.
The Manteca Rotary is handling much of the cooking while other volunteers are assisting with serving and other aspects of the breakfast and gift presentation.
“For many this is the only Christmas they will have, Waterford said.
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