For 35 years, the Turlock Christmas CanTree Project has reinforced the giving spirit associated with the holiday season, contributing to the city’s efforts of making a difference for those in need through its annual breakfast fundraiser.
Every year, CanTree joins Turlock Together and the Salvation Army in the fight against holiday hunger, with the Turlock Realtor Network volunteering their time to raise funds to help support the cause. The CanTree breakfast is just one way that the three organizations are able to provide families with food baskets to enjoy.
“There’s still a pretty remarkable volunteer effort in Turlock, which hopefully won’t go away any time soon,” said Turlock realtor Lloyd Blackman. “It makes the city a pretty special place to live.”
This year’s breakfast will raise funds for food baskets to feed a family of four for up to two weeks, and are meant to provide extra help for families who have children out of school for Christmas vacation. While local companies like Hilmar Cheese and Gemperle Farms have donated food for the baskets, many main meal staples are still needed, making the breakfast fundraiser all the more important.
“These companies have made generous donations, but there are still some things missing,” said Blackman.
The Salvation Army identifies families in need of the baskets, which are then distributed by Turlock Together. In years past, Turlock Together has distribute between 1,800 and 2,000 food baskets annually.
The CanTree breakfast typically raises about $15,000, said Blackman, thanks in part to an annual donation from Off Center Thrift & Gift. The amount shows just how giving Turlock can be, as other breakfasts hosted by Realtors in neighboring towns normally bring in around $3,000 to $5,000.
Pancakes, performances of Christmas carols, an auction and a raffle are sure to keep breakfast-goers both full and entertained at the event, and CanTree is still accepting auction items. Those interested in donating items for auction can contact event chair Joanne Perez at 209-480-0927. Tickets to the event are $5 and may be purchased by contacting Perez, or at the door on the day of the event.
“This is a great cause, and people come out of the woodwork to support it,” said Blackman.
The CanTree breakfast will open its doors at 7 a.m. Dec. 6 at the Salvation Army Community Center, 893 Lander Ave., Turlock.