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Mayor Pro Tem to host holiday event

Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune

Madera Pro Tem Anita Evans, right, and Caglia Environmental’s Director of Community Relations and Internal Affairs, Basreen Johnson, stand among many toys donated for Evans’ Christmas Extravaganza last year at the Madera Fairgrounds. More than 200 toys were donated, including a significant donation from Caglia Environmental/Red Rock Environmental, for children at James Monroe Elementary School. This year’s event will be December 18 at 4 p.m. at the Madera Fairgrounds’ Lumbertown.


Madera Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans will host her second annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Madera Fairgrounds’ Lumbertown to help the students at James Monroe and Pershing Elementary Schools.

“We ended up with 200-plus toys last year,” Evans said. “The goal is for as many as we can get. I would like to supply 300-350 students with toys this year, if possible. We gave toys to the students at James Monroe Elementary. I am speaking with the principal at Pershing and may be able to incorporate their school. My district covers Pershing and James Monroe schools.”

Evans, whose term as Mayor Pro Tem will expire by the time the party starts, will host her event on December 18, beginning at 4 p.m.

“Sugar Pine Smokehouse will provide the food,” she said. “As long as the weather permits, we will have a horse and carriage. Our event is on Sunday and is at 4 p.m. versus 6 p.m. last year. One, because of the weather and two, I feel more people will come out Sunday afternoon than Saturday night. It will be a fun event.”

Along with fine food, Evans will have games and musical entertainment by Stanley and Wilson Mackey.

“We’re going to do the same format as last year,” Evans said. “We’re going to have games. I just spoke to the young lady that is in charge of the games. We will have a photo booth. I just spoke to a person that will donate tangerines for everyone there. He will also supply us with enough tangerines that when we go to the homes, we will give every child a bag of tangerines.”

Tickets for the event are $49, in addition to at least one unwrapped toy.

“The cost will go to the horse carriage, the building and the caterers. Anyone who wants to donate toys, we are so very happy,” Evans said. “We are willing to take whatever. We will come and pick it up. We want as many toys as we can. When we go out, not only do we want to give toys to the student, but we want to give to the siblings, too.”

Evans wants to reiterate in that all the funds raised at the Extravaganza will pay for the Extravaganza, itself. Whatever may be leftover from that will go to help purchase special presents.

“Everything we charge goes back to the function,” Evans said. “If a child wants a bicycle, if there’s a way for us to get a bike, I will find a way. We got some last year and gave some away. We gave bikes to students that make a special request. The funds take care of expenses and special gifts for special requests. We had one child that was blind last year so we had to make sure her gift was adequate for a blind child.”

Last year, Caglia Environmental donated more than 150 toys to the event, which helped Evans’ total.

“He wanted to match our funds, but I didn’t want to take his money. I wanted toys and that’s what he did,” Evans said. “All I want is toys. I have children that have asked for iPads. Some children don’t have anything. Anything we can get would be great. It would be so great if a technology company would tell us they would give us 20 iPads. That would be amazing.”

Last year, Evans went to the house of every child at James Monroe Elementary to deliver the toys with Santa Claus.

“Santa will help us deliver toys again,” Evans said. “Sheriff Tyson Pogue will provide us with an escort. We will have a car at the beginning and the end and it will be like a little parade for us.”

Evans asks to mail checks to 1218 E. Cleveland, Ste 185 and make them out to: Anita for City Council.

“I want everyone to know this is not a campaign fundraiser,” Evans said. “The only reason to write it that way is it’s the only bank account that I can use my tax ID number. The donations are tax deductible.”

“I am so thankful God has blessed us,” she said. “People are contacting us. This is my ministry. My heart falls for the young ones.”


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