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Manteca Ford hosts todays free breakfast
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Phil Waterford knows that times are tough for families during this holiday season.

That’s why today he’s welcoming the less fortunate to his Manteca Ford Mercury dealership for a free hot breakfast – spreading the community spirit on Christmas Eve and taking the extra step to help those who might not be able to help themselves.

“I just think that keeping things in perspective is important this time of year,” Waterford said. “It’s really all about giving, and this is a season that’s all about Jesus Christ and everything that he’s done for us.

“It’s really an extraordinary day, and hopefully this will  give people a chance to enjoy a warm meal while spending time with their family.”

After forming a partnership with Pastor Mike Dillman of The Place of Refuge, Waterford began to put the plans in motion for a community-wide breakfast for those who might not be able to afford the traditional Christmas dinner.

Being that he himself came from a humble background and is facing the same economic turmoil as everyone else, Waterford says he knows what it’s like to be on that end of the spectrum and is hoping to do everything he can to bring a smile to the face of those who have been facing tough times.

And through his work as the owner of Manteca Ford Mercury, Waterford is no stranger to helping the community with events like car washes, toy drives, and even free car giveaways.

But when it comes to the birth of Jesus Christ and getting to share that message with the community, Waterford said that seeing the smiles on the faces of those who are just happy to have a warm meal more than justifies the effort to plan such an event.

“That really means everything to me – I feel like I’m the one that wins, and there’s no better feeling as a man, a father, and a human being,” Waterford said. “I’m probably the one who gets the most joy out of seeing people happy.”

There couldn’t be a better time for such a charitable endeavor.

“I know that we’re hurting – people are hurting, and families are hurting,” Waterford said. “This is a chance to bring the community together for people to have a warm meal and celebrate what Christmas is all about.

“We’re also going to have a Santa Claus on hand that will be presenting kids 12 and under with a gift so that they don’t have to go without this season.”

And the entire endeavor has been privately funded. The Place of Refuge, Pastor Mike Dillman, Waterford, and gracious members of the congregation want to ensure that everybody gets to celebrate one of the holiest holidays of the year.

“Everybody donated something to make a difference, and each item donated goes a long ways,” Waterford said. “This really shows the power of people working together, and how much of an impact that can make.”

The community breakfast will take place at Phil Waterford’s Manteca Ford Mercury today from 8 to 11 a.m. Breakfast will consist of pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit, juices, and coffee. For more information, contact 239-3561.