Letters to the Editor

January 26, 2007
Heartfelt thanks To The Editor:On December 23, 2006, through the Santa Paula Rotary Christmas Basket Program, 429 deserving households received food and toys. The support from the community through volunteers, contributions and donations was extraordinary. The community, deservingly, should take great satisfaction and pride in providing a Merry Christmas to needy households in the city.The number of volunteers and organizations that came together to make the event successful is very impressive. Hundreds of volunteers participated in the collection of canned food and toys, sorting and filling of baskets, loading of trucks and delivery to individual households. In addition, over 130 individuals and organizations contributed over $12,000 to help support this important program.What a wonderful sight it was at the Community Center a couple of days before delivery of the baskets. In excess of 100 volunteers participated in sorting and distributing over 12,000 canned food items and over 2,000 toys based on age and gender of children. Each basket included dry foods, fresh fruits and a chicken.On Saturday, December 23, 2006, again, over 100 volunteers arrived at 6:00 a.m. to finish filling baskets and load the trucks for delivery. It took 18 trucks and most of the volunteers to disperse the baskets to the 429 households with over 1,000 children throughout the city.It would be impossible to individually recognize and give thanks to all the volunteers, supporters, contributors and donators. However, we will recognize the following for their generosity and commitment:The 2006 Rotary Christmas Basket Committee which included Bill Armbruster, Ed and Barbara Beach, Maria Bombara, Guy Cole, Dennis Culver, Scott and Cynthia Dunbar, Chris Bartleson, Ben Curtis, Harold Edwards, Pete Fallini, Tomas Gonzales, Bill Hardison, Mike Hause, Joe Jauregui, Bruce McGee, Mike Mobley, Chuck Mullet, Gary Nasalroad, Bob Orlando, Dave Stegman, Mike Shore, Elias Valdez, Norm Wilkinson, Carol Burhoe, Cliff Finley, Ginger Gherardi, Peter Wright and other Rotarians and friends who helped to make the project a success; U.S. Marine Corps Toys 4-Tots; the Limoneira Company, Mission Produce, Freska Produce International, Villa Park Orchards Association and Mike Shore (Shore Packing Company) for donating fresh avocados, oranges, lemons, tangerines and mangos; Calavo for generously allowing the use of their facilities for toy storage; Weyerhaeuser for donating boxes that were used for the Christmas baskets; Chino’s Market and Elias Valdez for their generous donation of dry goods and time; the Santa Paula Fire Department (Stations 1 and 2), the Santa Paula Police Department, and the Santa Clara Valley Bank for their work in being primary collection points for toys and food; Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley for handling the application process; City of Santa Paula and Community Services Department for support and assistance; Mark Kretschmer and the 30 students from Thomas Aquinas College that collected over 1,200 cans of food in a single night by a door-to-door collection effort; Isbell Middle School faculty and students for collecting over 5,000 caned food items; Santa Paula Elementary School District for collecting food and toys; Thelma B. Bedell for its coordinated canned food collection; Blanchard School for collecting toys; Santa Paula High School FFA and Santa Paula Interact Club for food collection; Curves for Women, Familia Diaz, Santa Paula Chapter of P.E.O. and First Presbyterian Church for collecting toys; Briggs 4H Club for collecting and delivering canned food; Santa Paula Youth Cheerleaders Group for sorting and distributing toys and food for an entire day; Santa Paula Ministerial Association for making churches aware of project; Vons market for the generous use of their grocery carts to sort canned food; Sheeler Moving and Storage for picking up U.S. Marines Toys 4-Tots on extremely short notice; Nate Steele (McCoy’s Automotive), Dave Lagesse (Andy’s Plumbing), Bill Grant (Associates Insectary), Scott Dunbar, Mike Mobley, Pete Fallini, Dennis Taylor, Steve Lazenby, family and grandchildren and old fire engine, Guy Cole, Mike Shore, Dean Thrasher and family (Thrasher Farms), Sal Dominguez, Terry Schaeffer (Hilford Moving and Storage), Otto Schimmel, Tomas Gonzalez (Limoneira), and Louie Hengehold for providing trucks used for pickup and delivery of baskets, including food and toys; Howard Bolton for the toy and food drop-off banners displaced outside Fire Stations #1 and #2. Finally, a special thanks to Don and Debbie Johnson, Peggy Kelly and the Santa Paula Times.It is obvious that the Santa Paula Rotary Club Christmas Basket Program was a huge success because of the immense community support. Our heartfelt thanks go to all that contributed in any way to the program. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.Thank you Santa Paula.Paul Smith
Otto SchimmelCo-ChairmenSanta Paula Rotary Christmas Basket EventTo everyoneTo the Editor:Does every one realize how nice and generous the people at the ‘Mighty’ Santa Paula Times are? If not, they should. The AARP does, and they thank you for being you.All the members of AARP,Alma Ikeler, President

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