TWENTYNINE PALMS (Desert Trail)— Residents will have three chances to benefit those less fortunate than themselves this weekend with the annual letter carriers’ canned food drive, Toys For Tots Motorcycle Run and the Twentynine Palms Elks Lodge dinner and auction benefitting Toys for Tots.
In the wake of last year’s drive which met its goal of 6,000 pounds of canned food, organizers of this year’s Twentynine Palms letter carriers’ canned food drive have upped the stakes, Joel Klink said last week.
Klink, who is mayor of Twentynine Palms, also is a local letter carrier and regularly helps to organize the food drive conducted by local letter carriers and their postal customers. This year, he said, letter carriers are looking to collect 7,000 pounds of canned and other non-perishable foods.
As has been the case in the past, postal customers will be asked to leave food stuffs, but nothing perishable and nothing in glass containers, in or near their mail boxes in time for pickup on Saturday, Dec. 5, Klink said.
This year’s food drive will be hampered by an edict from the National Postal Service prohibiting letter carriers from using post cards to let their customers know the drive is coming, he said.
“We have to get the word out by mouth and through you guys,” Klink said last week during a telephone interview with The Desert Trail.
“Make sure they are non-perishable and no glass,” Klink said. “We hit our goal last year of 6,000 pounds. Maybe we will up it to 7,000 pounds this year, see what happens.”
He noted that all the food collected will go to the Twentynine Palms Community Food Pantry, which operates out of space provided by Immanual-Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 6540 Stardune Ave., from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
“All the food will be staying in Twentynine Palms,” Klink said.
Those who have post office boxes instead of mailboxes can still participate, Klink said.
“They can bring (canned foods) into the post office and drop them off at the desk, the front desk there,” he said.
Everything collected will be distributed through the
29 Palms Community Food Pantry.
“Over the past year we have seen an increase in neighbors seeking assistance from the 29 Palms Community Food Pantry and Outreach Ministries, Inc.,” said Executive Director Bob Berg.
“Your offerings and gifts to help the poor, the needy, downcast, the widows, the fatherless and the discouraged in your home, neighborhood and throughout the Twentynine Palms area.
“With your support, both financially and through food donations we are able to ensure that no one goes to bed hungry in our area,” Berg said.
A pantry spokeswoman said that peanut butter and canned tuna are in especially short supply.
Toys for Tots Run
In support of the Rotary clubs of Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program park officials have allowed this year’s participants to enter the park through its Joshua Tree entrance and come out through the Twentynine Palms gate at no charge.
The motorcycle run, co-sponsored by Hutchins Motor Sports and KCDZ-FM in conjunction with the Rotary clubs, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hutchins Harley-Davidson at 55405 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.
Riders will make their way east through the Morongo Basin to end up at Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms.
Entry fee is a new, unwrapped toy worth at least $10. Stuffed animals will not be accepted.
Riders of any type of motorcycle (cars, too) can register online at www.hutchins motorsports.com or sign up at Hutchins Harley-Davidson at 8 a.m.
The ride is a poker run format with riders stopping at checkpoints along the way to pick up playing cards.
When the motorcycle riders get to Twentynine Palms, there will be prizes for the best and worst poker hands, as well other fun events.
The Rotary clubs are sponsoring the Luckie Park event and will provide a barbecue lunch prepared by the Joshua Springs Men’s Ministry for the motorcycle riders.
The Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce will host a motorcycle show at the Luckie park event after the run and supply prizes.
The show, starting at noon, will see the hundreds of motorcycles from the run competing in various categories in a people’s choice format.
Spectators are invited to the park to see the display of hundreds of custom motorcycles of all makes and models.
KDCZ’s Mobile DJ system with DJ Manny will be set up at Luckie Park to provide music for dancing and listening.
The riders are expected to reach the park at about noon.
For more information, call Gary Daigneault at (760) 366-8471.
Dinner and auction
Members of the Twentynine Palms Elks Lodge are looking for items to feature in both live and silent auctions to benefit Toys for Tots.
The evening, which will include a fajita dinner and music by Ramblin’ George Watson, will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday at the lodge on Twentynine Palms Highway at Elk Trail.
Dinner tickets are $7, $7.50 and $8, depending on whether you get chicken, beef or a combination.
Last year the Elks raised $1,800 for Toys for Tots.
For more information or to donate an auction item, call John King at (760) 367-9633.
- What: Letter Carrier’s canned food drive
- When: Saturday
- How: Leave canned and boxed items near your mailbox Saturday morning
- What: Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run
- When: Singups begin at 8 a.m. Saturday
- Where: Hutchins Motor Sports, 55405 Twentynine Palms Highway
- What: Dinner and auction for Toys for Tots
- When: 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
- Where: Twentynine Palms Elks Lodge, Twentynine Palms Highway at Elk Trail