Smiles for toys at the Lowrider Nationals Toy Drive.
The Lowrider Nationals hosted its first annual "LO LO LO TOY DRIVE" to help Santa have plenty of toys for needy kids in Bakersfield. The Christmas season brings out the best in people, and the car community was no exception, as they stepped up to bring smiles to many children in Bakersfield and Kern County. Hundreds of toys were collected during this event for gifting to underserved children.
It was a cold, foggy, yuletide morning, the kind of wintry day that Bakersfield is known for in December. But despite the weather, the Lowrider Nationals team was ready at 8 a.m. to greet all comers with toys. Toy Drive sponsor, MetroPCS not only brought in a carload of toys, the company also brought Santa, much to the delight of kids who came out with their parents to support the toy drive. As an incentive to the car community and its fans, the Lowrider Nationals offered a free pair of tickets to the first 25 to bring a toy, for admission to their upcoming show, which is slated for August 1, 2010 at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Other sponsors for this incredible event included Dr. Pepper, MetroPCS, Brighthouse Networks, HOT 94.1, and The Red Lion Hotel. Toys were distributed to the Jamison Children's Center and Stayfocused, both of which are community organizations that work with children and youth.
Josie the youngest of the Castro family, proudly rides her bike at the toy drive.
Choosing the organizations that would receive the donated toys proved to be the biggest challenge, since there are so many deserving organizations in the area. Kids in physical and emotional trouble are especially vulnerable at this time of year, therefore, the Nationals chose The Jamison Children's Center, a 24-hour emergency shelter and protective custody facility. As the only emergency shelter in Kern County for abused, neglected, and exploited children, the Lowrider Nationals decided to support this organization because of its commitment to children. Children come to Jamison Children's Center from all backgrounds and walks of life. The Nationals thank Carl Guilford, Program Director, for coming out, and for also using his Center to provide the kind of care and support that these at-risk children and youth need.
Also benefiting from the Nationals toy drive was Stay Focused Reach 4 Greatness. The mission of the Reach-4-Greatness Mentoring Program is to empower youth in our community to make positive life choices that enable them to maximize their personal potential. Stayfocused is known for their contributions and work within the community. The Nationals team supported the toy giveaway, which drew hundreds of families and kids, and provided them with the support they need in this increasingly difficult world. The Nationals wish to thank Manuel Carrizalez, Founder, for the organization's support and great work.
Special thanks from the Nationals to the supporters, the car clubs, the community and all of its volunteers, Alfredo Pasamantes, Art Carbajal, Hedy Paniagua.
The community came out to the toy drive give-away organized by Stay focused.
At the Lowrider Nationals Toy Drive, from left to right: Rick Muñoz and Oralia Michel, pro
About The Lowrider Nationals
The Lowrider Nationals organization believes in providing meaningful support to the communities that support its events and programs. These include the annual car show, the scholarship program, and the Christmas toy drive. The flagship event held annually in Bakersfield, the Lowrider Nationals, is unique in convening the full spectrum of urban cars and owners/builders that live the urban car sport and lifestyle. The car show and competition is open to urban automobile categories - Dubs, Euros, Imports, Lowriders, as well as motorcycles and bicycles, and hoppers. The largest event of its kind in the region, it draws thousands of enthusiasts and fans, and hundreds of vehicles each year. For lovers of the sport, the event is the perfect platform to showcase and share their artistry and creativity, while also competing with their peers for prizes.