By Douglas W. Motley
Thanks to dozens of volunteers at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station, along with generous donations from two local supermarkets and community organizations, 30 mountain area families that otherwise may have gone without gifts and a fancy Christmas dinner will now have a Merry Christmas.
“This is a great community event,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Don Lupear, referring to the station’s annual Feast for Families.
According to Lupear, each family at last Friday’s event received a free ham and turkey, along with all the usual fixings, enabling them to enjoy a festive Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner. Additionally, said Lupear, each child received four gifts and toys, along with a stuffed animal from Santa Claus. Sheriff’s Service Specialist Alyssa Leon added that each participating family had been nominated by a local school, church or a deputy who had contact with the family in the past year.
“This is an amazing blessing,” said Sarai Kiser, who believes her family was chosen because she had been diagnosed with leukemia several years ago. Sarai, who is now in full remission and cancer-free, brought her 15-year-old daughter, Lily, and Grandma Seashell to the station to meet Santa. “It was nice getting to meet Santa and a blessing to be able to do this,” said Lily.
Laurie Bush, a member of the sheriff’s station’s Citizens on Patrol (COP) unit, added that the Butterball turkeys had been donated by Stater Bros. and that the hams were donated by Jensen’s Market. The traditional fixings, Bush said, had been donated by COP and consisted of salad, turkey stuffing, pumpkin pie, whipped topping, yams and other canned vegetables, while the California Highway Patrol and Lake Gregory Yacht Club had donated toys, games and giftwrap.
COP also provided hot cocoa and cookies for the children, while they waited to meet Santa Claus. When it was their turn, Michael, 12, William, 9, and Dylan, 4, cozied up to Santa, who presented each of them with a stuffed animal. “It was good to meet Santa,” said Dylan, who told Santa he wanted a Glow Toy and Pac Man cards for Christmas.
Nine-month-old Monique, Anthony, 11, and Emily, 18, were among the dozens of kids who got to meet Santa. Their mom said, “We love coming to this annual Christmas Feast for Families, and we love the community’s support.” Santa added, “I love how this community brings people together for special events like this, ho, ho, ho, ho…”