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The gymnasium at CRC was packed, as seats filled with squirming children, anxious to try their chances at winning a new bike from Portola Fire. Photo by Lauren Westmoreland

Christmas for the kids at CRC

The lucky winners of the prize drawing were grinning from ear to ear, excited to hop on and cheese for the camera. Back, from left: Cassandra Torres, 11; Jaleyah Sigala, 8; Aleckzis Manzo, 10; and William Drummond, 9. Front, from left: Emma Duff, 5; Gustavo Sigala, 7; Chase Appley, 33; and Stella May Rose, age 2. Photo by Lauren Westmoreland

The annual Portola Volunteer Fire Department’s Christmas party at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School rolled in on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 13, with a full house of school kids hoping to win a bicycle.

Every year, Portola Fire has a major fundraising “beef feed,” and all of the proceeds go toward buying new bikes, tricycles and helmets for young children at CRC.

“This annual giveaway is part of PVFD history and tradition,” Assistant Fire Chief Tom Tobernor laughed. “This event has been going on for more than 50 years and it kicks off the kids’ holiday vacation.”

Portola Fire volunteer Maggie Turner greeted the throngs of excited youngsters at the door, where each child put a ticket into a jar for the prize drawing.

“This year, we have three tricycles and six mountain bikes for the kids,” Turner said. “One of the tricycles has been donated by the Ross family in memory of their father, Robert Ward.”

Chrissy Ross mentioned that this is something the family loves to do every year for the community.

“It’s myself, my sister Sarah Ortiz and my brother Robert Ward. We love to honor our dad’s memory in this way.”

Bill Elmore is another local who donated the other two trikes, to the great appreciation of Portola Fire.

“After all the kids experience the prize drawing, they then get to meet Santa Claus and also get a stocking stuffed with treats.

The stockings were all stuffed by PVFD volunteers as well,” Turner said. “We couldn’t make this event happen without the support of the community, especially at the annual PVFD Beef Feed, and we want to say thank you to everyone that came together to support this annual event for the kids.”


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