It is not every day that a uniformed Manteca Police officer as well as school staff members drop off a car at a tire store.
When that happened recently at America’s Tire Store at 220 Commerce Avenue near Home Depot, it caught the attention of store manager David Mullenix.
Mullenix asked about what was going on.
That’s when School Resource Officer April Smith and the school staff members shared their story.
Smith — who is assigned to one of the three Manteca high school campuses — was made aware of a high school senior that had recently turned 18. The senior was on his own struggling to work and support himself while continuing to attend high school so he can earn his diploma and graduate with his classmates in May. He’s been able to attend school every day on time while living on his own.
Smith learned that the tires on the senior’s vehicle were dangerously worn. Smith and staff members decided they’d replace the tires. They called America’s Tire Store and got an estimate. Once they knew the cost they all chipped in money to buy the tires.
When Mullenix heard the story, he had his staff replace the tires and then refused to accept payment. Mullenix — along with his staff — were impressed with the dedication and drive of the student and wanted to have a part in helping.
The Manteca Community Thanksgiving Dinner coordinated by the Manteca Rotary with help from the Sunrise Kiwanis served a record 2,760 meals on Thanksgiving.
That was up significantly from 2,200 meals last year.
The reason for the jump was a number of people from Modesto and Stockton drove to Manteca so their families could have a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
The small army of volunteers that have been gathering for the past 10 years at Mt. Mike’s Pizza at Louise Avenue and Main Street to prepare and serve the turkey meal as well as prepare takeout dinners to be served off-site has been averaging around 2,000 and 2,200 dinners a year.
It is the first year they ran out of all of the meat produced from the 198 turkeys. Typically what is left over goes to agencies that serve struggling families such as shelters.
Jeff Liotard, who has been taking the lead along with Charlie Halford in lining up the dinner each year, said the fact the volunteers were able to touch the lives of more people made the day that much better.
And in case you are wondering, there is a Santa Claus. Liotard is the Santa that was in the Manteca Christmas parade and who will be at the Manteca Rotary’s downtown Santa Hut in the coming days.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org