A growing movement after 28 years, the Santee Chamber of Commerce held its 29th Annual Taste of Santee and toy and food drive for the Santee Santas Foundation at Toyota Certified Center of Santee. This new venue was admirable for the large crowd that this annual event draws, not only from Santee, but its neighboring communities. Boxes around the Christmas tree overfilled quickly with the many donations supporting the work that the Santee Santas have been doing over the past six decades.
A growing movement after 28 years, the Santee Chamber of Commerce held its 29th Annual Taste of Santee and toy and food drive for the Santee Santas Foundation at Toyota Certified Center of Santee. This new venue was admirable for the large crowd that this annual event draws, not only from Santee, but its neighboring communities. Boxes around the Christmas tree overfilled quickly with the many donations supporting the work that the Santee Santas have been doing over the past six decades. With humble beginnings, serving six families, the Santee Santas now serve more than 300 underprivileged families within the local community. A non-profit, it is an all-volunteer organization that not only provides the annual toy drive, but has year round programs that provide for young and old throughout the year. Along with the toy drive, the Chamber collected a $10 donation to provide local families with its Santeeopoly game, but it is also selling these to the public on its website for $10 if you want one for yourself.
John Morley, Santee Santas Board of Directors said he loved the fact that neighborhood communities come in and help the people of Santee with both the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce and the East County San Diego Chaldean Chamber of Commerce board members participating in the event this year. This is just one way that shows that the annual Taste of Santee is an East County community event, he said.
Robert Petty, Toyota of Santee general manager said the event was fantastic, and that without the many sponsors that help make the event possible, and many that have supported this event for many years, including Union Bank, who sponsored the event at its location for the past 28 years until the event outgrew the space. He said they are still great partners and stay heavily involved.
All in the spirit of giving for the holidays, the Taste of Santee also highlights many businesses in the area. This year, Boll Weevil, Buffalo Wild Wings, Claim Jumper, Eccentric International Chefs, Finest Made Ales, Firehouse Subs, Lantern Crest Senior Living, Little Lando’s, O’s American Kitchen, Olive Garden, Omelette Factory, On the Border and Wal-Mart helped bring in some of Santee’s best foods, brews and wines to create a welcoming buffet of best samples that Santee has to offer. The combining of the Taste of Santee and the Santee Santas toy and food drive make this event stand out above many others by providing a great atmosphere for networking, dining and donating with friends and colleagues. And for some great entertainment for the book, a full house from Expression Dance & Movement Center came in and gave some incredible performances from its Winter Recital. Not only did they entertained, but the entire troupe came in with donations for the toy drive, filling several large boxes for the Santee Santas charity.
Sam Modica, Santee Santas board president fortified the need for the continuous support needed in keeping the Santa Santas tradition of helping the number growing of families in need. He said that there is still much to do before delivery days and that it is still looking for volunteers to package food baskets, sort toys and deliver. To find out how you can help by volunteering, visit www.SanteeSantas.org and click on the volunteer page to find a time that best suits your schedule. For more information about joining the Santee Chamber of Commerce or to order its exclusive Santeeopoly board game, visit www.SanteeChamber.com.