On behalf of the Moorpark Food Pantry, and in particular on behalf of the more than 400 families we serve, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to all the organizations and individuals who collaborated with us to make our first Christmas Festival such a successful and meaningful event.
While the Pantry has held an annual toy distribution for many years, this was the first year we implemented an ambitious, community-supported festival and we were gratified that it was resoundingly successful. We attribute this success to the generous donations of toys, time, energy, and support of the entire community.
We would like to highlight and thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to the day:
- The Boys and Girls Club and its director, Scott Mosher, let us use their auditorium.
- Toys for Tots, Moorpark Rotary, and the schools and district office of Moorpark Unified provided the toys.
- The Knights of Columbus helped with setting up, cleaning up and assisting with parking and traffic.
- Gabelos donated a Jolly Jump house for the children.
- Fountain Foursquare, Moorpark Presbyterian, Holy Cross, and Moorpark United Methodist churches staffed the toy and clothing stations and Pastor Jim and Lucy Olaiz (Shepherd's Watch Ministries) coordinated the churches.
- Karen Chima served as the student volunteer coordinator; Will Donley recruited, and he and Larry Jones organized the student volunteers, and many hardworking Moorpark High School students (members of the ACT club, FLAMA, Health Science Academy, and the MHS campus at large) worked all day in multiple capacities; A to Z storage helped us store overflow toys.
- Tracey Ellis-de Ruyter, Alison Usher and their 35 volunteers from the National Charity League Vista Robles Chapter spent the day wrapping thousands of toys.
- Richard Shor and Jim Stueck for their excellent portrayals of Santa Claus, capably assisted by Kathy Morningred and Debbie Woerner, with Greg Cosimati and Roland Woerner acting as Santa’s elves.
- McKensie and Andi Lara led a Girl Scout project that created more than 400 stockings.
- Moorpark Girl Scout Cadette Troop 60005 and Emma Kothari distributed the stockings to the children.
- Moorpark High School Band Boosters donated six trees to help decorate the Santa's village area.
- Justine Levan served as the official photographer for Santa's village
- Andrés Torres, Veronica Torres and Margarita Barajas set up the decorations.
- Thousand Oaks Jazz Band provided wonderful live Christmas music
- And the numerous Pantry volunteers assisted each family through the Festival centers.
We know that this list is by no means all inclusive because literally hundreds of volunteers came out in support of this event! Thanks to all named and also to those that space does not allow us to list! Your help is appreciated!
Moorpark is a community that truly believes that all of our children should experience the joy and wonder of the season. Each toy given out this year was a physical representation of the generosity of this town and the true meaning of the season. We are grateful to all who shared the magic of Christmas with the children of Moorpark and their families through the Festival this year!
And we look forward to working with you again next year!
Client Resource Coordinator for Moorpark Food Pantry Plus
And the Christmas Festival Committee