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Donations For Youngsters Celebrated At Crossroads
Toys And Cars
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Santa himself is hugged by a youngster visiting the Marine Corps Reserves Toys For Tots booth in the parking lot in front of the Riverbank Save Mart in the Crossroads on Sunday, Dec. 3. The event also included a classic car show; entry in the show was by a donation or providing a new, unwrapped toy for the collection effort. Ric McGinnis/The News

The Christmas Spirit could be seen and felt in abundance at the Save Mart supermarket in the Crossroads Shopping Center in Riverbank on Sunday, Dec. 3. The festivities centered around the collection of items for the annual Toys For Tots holiday drive.

United States Marine Corps reservists and retirees, along with volunteers from the Central Valley Community Resources organization and the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Santa Claus and families to the parking lot, along with a number of owners and drivers of classic and hot rod vehicles.

The entrants in the car show also brought toys to be given to youngsters later this month, at the same time vying for trophies awarded to the top three choices.

Judges were a group of Riverbank High School students, who tallied their votes before awarding three trophies.

There were about 30 car show participants, with classic cars, hot rods and restored trucks competing, with the third place trophy going to Emmit Nelson, for his 1973 Chevy Cheyenne truck.

Second place went to Chris Perez with his 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS, and the first place trophy went to Esteban Zapien and his 1964 Chevy Impala.

Meanwhile, the new, unwrapped toys were dropped off for those in need, with the The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign traditionally helping local families provide some gifts for youngsters who might not otherwise receive any this holiday season.

The toys will be distributed to families within the next couple of weeks.

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Helping present the first place trophy to car show winner Esteban Zapien, accompanied by his daughter, on Sunday afternoon was Santa Claus. The event was part of the Toys For Tots donation drive program held in front of the Save Mart store in the Crossroads Shopping Center. Organizers said there were about 30 vehicles entered in the competition. Zapien’s entry was a 1964 Chevrolet Impala. Ric McGinnis/The News