Members of the community and volunteers gathered at South Ocean Middle School recently to enjoy a community holiday celebration.
Manuel Sanzone, Principal at Saxton Middle School, facilitated this year's event with the help of many staff and administrative members of the Patchogue-Medford School District. Donations of food were provided by many of Patchogue and Medford's local businesses.
"This year has been exceptional, absolutely phenomenal. Everyone is having a great time. There's plenty of food and a lot of help. It's a blessing," Sanzone said.
The free, two-hour event offers families a hot gourmet meal while children can make a variety of take-home craft projects with assistance from volunteers and members of the Patchogue-Medford High School Robotics team. Festive music was provided by student members of the Saxton DJ Team and advisor Bill Jacobs.
Resident Lori Gabel came back for a second year and joined friends and family at the event.
"This is great. It is a really nice way to get together with members of the community and kickoff the holiday season," said Gabel.
Santa Claus made an appearance at the end of the luncheon to hand out toys to all of the children.