Big success for Christmas giveaways, organizers say

By KRIS REILLY, Editor

LUCERNE VALLEY • Both of this year’s local Christmas giveaways were hugely successful, organizers said.

The Lucerne Valley Roadrunners, a charitable women’s organization, topped off its year of fundraising and toy-gathering with its annual Christmas giveaway on Dec. 22.

Billie Stebbins, who has chaired the event for the last few years, said 130 local families and 342 children received care packages containing toys, hygiene supplies and various other goodies this year.

“We had more families this year, and it was about the same number of kids as last year,” Stebbins said.

The Roadrunners hold several fundraisers throughout the year, including the annual biker toy run in October. The giveaway also depends on donations from local businesses such as Mitsubishi Cement Corporation and toy donations from the community under the Christmas Tree at First Mountain Bank.

A Christian motorcyclist group and riders at the local BMX track were also among the donors this year.

Also on Dec. 22, local resident Pam Hardwick held a Christmas giveaway aimed specifically at teens. While the Roadrunners’ event has been held for decades, Hardwick’s event is only in second year.

She said 114 locals kids between the ages of 13 and 17 received packages including school supplies, hygiene supplies, makeup, hats, scarfs, blankets and more.

“We had exactly 51 last year, so we more than doubled it this year,” said Hardwick, who works with New Life Ministries.

She said money and supplies were raised from various fundraisers throughout the year and from donors such as Mitsubishi, Omya, Hi-Grade Materials and Wolf Mountain Sanctuary.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department participated in toy-gathering for both the teen giveaway and the Roadrunners.
Stebbins said the Roadrunners did not receive the toys from the fire department until after the giveaway date due to a miscommunication.

“That’s fine because we always have a couple of toys left over, and we’ll just get an early start for next year,” Stebbins said.