Hundreds of residents of Middletown and surrounding communities were able to enjoy the annual Christmas in Middletown holiday celebration this year, even in the wake of the devastating fires that decimated many areas of Lake County earlier this fall. This year’s event, held on December 12, was made possible by the Lake County Fire Victims Relief Fund—a relief fund created by Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, Inc. in partnership with Redwood Credit Union and the Press Democrat, and in conjunction with Senator Mike McGuire. The Fund collected more than $2.2 million dollars toward fire relief efforts, thanks to the generous contributions of more than 12,000 donors from throughout California and beyond.
Redwood Credit Union, The Press Democrat and Senator McGuire hosted a free community lunch at the South Lake County Fire Station in Middletown to kick off the event. More than 300 people gathered for a free pasta meal provided by The Pasta King, Art Ibleto. Senator McGuire, RCU President and CEO Brett Martinez, and Press Democrat Publisher Steve Falk acknowledged the resiliency of the community and recognized firefighters and other first responders as heroes of the fires. Brett Martinez read letters of support from people who donated to the Fire Relief Fund, including children who had held fundraisers and pitched in their own money to help. “These are your letters, written to you,” Martinez told the attendees. “Many people care about this community.”
Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown dressed as Santa Claus and gave out ornaments and gift cards to children and other attendees. Small children picked out toys that were donated, and families sang along with Christmas carols performed by local musicians.
Following the pasta feed, the Christmas in Middletown event, sponsored by the Lake County Fire Victims Relief Fund in cooperation with the Middletown Area Merchants Association, brought residents and visitors together to support local businesses who stayed open late and offered snacks and beverages to guests. The evening event promoted the Shop Middletown campaign which hopes to bring much-needed commerce to the local businesses who were affected by the fires.
“This event wouldn’t have been possible this year if it weren’t for the generosity of the over twelve thousand donors to the Lake County Fire Victims Fund,” said Brett Martinez. “It was a wonderful opportunity to help bring holiday cheer to the Lake County community as they begin their recovery from the fires and get back on their feet.”
During the early evening, residents and visitors rallied to support local businesses who stayed open late and offered food and drinks to guests. The evening event was part of the “Shop Middletown” campaign, which hopes to bring much needed commerce to businesses still affected by the Lake County fires.
Fore additional information about the Lake County Fire Victims Relief Fund, visit https://www.redwoodcu.org/lakecountyfirevictims.