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Santa Claus delivered some Christmas cheer -- and gifts -- to local children at Monday night's "Outpouring" at the Oakhurst Community Center (photos and story by Leonard Andrenacci)

‘Outpouring’ of Holiday Spirit Lights Up Community Center

OAKHURST — The Oakhurst Community Center was the setting for the 11th-annual free Christmas dinner  known as “The Outpouring.”

The event, which caters to the community, took place Christmas Eve eve — Monday night (Dec. 23) — from 3 p.m. to 7 pm.

Rebecca Simon with Simon family members and volunteers at Monday’s “Outpouring”

The all-home-cooked feast also featured live music and a special appearance by Santa Claus, who brought toys for the children — and “Christmas blessings” for random families in the form of gift cards.

Nearly 300 people enjoyed a meal at the event, which was orchestrated by Rebecca Simon and her husband Ryan and more than a dozen of their family members.

“I enjoy giving back to the community because of my strong faith,” Rebecca Simon said Monday night.

Supporters at the event cooked 15 turkeys and 17 hams. The meal also featured a hearty helping of mashed potatoes, green beans, yams, stuffing, dinner rolls and dessert plates.

Servers included 35 volunteers, who also helped package all of the leftovers to donate to other local community organizations during their Christmas week celebrations.

The Tenaya Lodge donated the funds to purchase the food for the dinner — and Starbucks donated all the coffee and hot cocoa.

Terry Cederblom played guitar and Alanna Marquez sang for the diner while C.O.P.S., Madera County’s volunteer citizens patrol, provided security for the event.

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online