As you read this, I hope you are prepared to celebrate Christmas and its true meaning, with your family and friends. John and I look forward to being with our sons, Doug, Dave, and Dan and their families. We are blessed to have them all living here in North County. Although we will be the ones to “travel,” we won’t have far to go! One family lives in Templeton, a second is in Paso Robles, and the third is in San Miguel.

I wish you, my faithful readers, a very Merry Christmas, and hope you will be with those you care for and love.

Last Saturday night, we went to the community of San Miguel for their Christmas Light Parade. Our son, Doug and his wife Michele, live in a 130-year-old house on L Street, they bought three years ago. The house is known as the Twissleman house to old-timers. They decorated it with so many lights that Doug says it can be seen from the plateau across the river. 

The parade was a joy to watch. There were at least 20 entries and most of them had children involved. I loved the idea that the whole community turned out to attend or participate. Thank you, San Miguel, for a special parade!

Many thank yous are in order during this time of the year and I want to mention a few of them before the year ends. Thank you to Plaza Cleaners in Atascadero and Paso Robles, Fashion Cleaners in Atascadero, and Paso Robles Cleaners and Laundry for participating all year in the Coats for Kids project. Thank you to the Atascadero News, Paso Robles Press, Colony Magazine and Paso Magazine for giving us “press.” Jean and Jeff Pedigo helped with facebook and grants and they get a big thank you for that. Ali Bowman and Kyle Womack helped organize the distribution in Paso Robles. Kristy and Rich Martin distributed drop-off boxes in Paso Robles. Brenda May scheduled volunteers in Atascadero while Lyn Fowler and Michelle Velasco distributed boxes at drop-off locations in Atascadero. Michelle also shopped with donated funds. Paul Porter, Mike Schneider, Dave Butz, Kent Kenney, Charles Bourbeau, Jeff Pedigo, David May, Rene Tierney, Matthew Tierney, Dan Dulitz, and Pete Hendy, helped with the loading and unloading of the Coats for Kids trailer. Special thanks to some of the members of the Paso Robles High School varsity baseball team who helped load the trailer in Paso Robles after that distribution. 

Thank you to the organizations that we partnered with at both distributions — Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles, Salvation Army, Atascadero Loaves and Fishes, Atascadero Kiwanis Club, and Marine Corps Reserve. It was a pleasure to work with you on both distributions that helped make a difference in the lives of some of our less fortunate community members here in the north county.  

Finally, thank you to the Board of Supervisors who contributed funds so that we could provide more new coats and jackets for the distributions. 

Listing names like that is a risk, I know because I will have left someone out I’m sure, and I apologize. However, I want to thank everyone who was involved in the 2019 distributions of Coats for Kids. Both events went so smoothly, and it was due to the people involved. Bless all and Merry Christmas!

If you haven’t made a reservation for the Atascadero Chambers’s Annual Awards Dinner, “An Evening in Paradise,” you’d better do so right away. It is always a “sell-out” and is the highlight of the year. 

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Join in the celebration of the 2019 Citizen of the Year, the 2019 Civic Award winners, and the introduction of the 2020 Board of Directors. 

The event will take place at the Pavilion on the Lake, 9315 Pismo Ave., on Saturday, Jan. 25, starting at 5:15 p.m. with libations and silent auction. Dinner will be served at 6:30, followed by a live auction and awards. 

Register online by Jan. 6 or call 805-466-2044 for your reservation.

Semi-formal attire is requested.

Mark your new calendars for this next event. The 5th Annual Tamale Festival

is scheduled for Jan. 17 and 18, 2020, in downtown Atascadero. Friday evening will be the “Grand Opening Party” from 5-10 p.m. Then on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. you will enjoy the “Tamale Festival.”

Both evenings are free to attend and will be located in the Sunken Gardens.

For now, Merry Christmas to all!

Cheers!