Holiday festivities and activity is in full effect, as the 95361 does not just what it does best, but has become known for – giving.
It should then come as no surprise that the people who help bring neighborhoods and community together, will once again gather as they lead the annual CVAR (Central Valley Association of Realtors) Can Tree Breakfast. The event will be hosted Thursday, Dec. 12 at Gene Bianchi Community Center at 110 S. Second Ave., Oakdale. Breakfast will begin being served at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
Now more than four decades old in the Central Valley and close to 30 years strong in Oakdale proper, the Can Tree Breakfast is hosted each year by Oakdale Realtors and affiliates. Just as it takes a team to complete a home sale transaction, that same team comes together each year with one common goal: raising funds for Oakdale Community Sharing.
“In the beginning we donated cans,” pioneer volunteer and longtime Realtor Bob Evans shared. “We built can trees and collected cans.”
According to Evans, just as quickly as the event was brought to Oakdale, the committee learned that Community Sharing founder Gladys Lemmons, could make the dollar stretch further than the bounty of cans they collected at each event. Through this knowledge the event turned away from a can drive and into one profitable fundraiser.
“Then we switched to money instead of cans,” Evans said of the change, noting in the early years they collected $350 one year. That’s a number which now seems a bit dismal, as each year (depending on the market) thousands of dollars are collected for the Oakdale food bank.
“You can tell by what we gross, what type of year real estate has had,” he shared.
In addition to a breakfast of home cooked biscuits and gravy, sausage, scrambled eggs and fruit, attendees can participate in silent auctions, a live auction, as well as a raffle.
“I think the whole community gets involved now, versus when it used to be just the Realtors,” Evans continued. “Oakdale is a very generous community.”
Fellow Realtor Jerry Jones shared he first joined the Can Tree team in 2003. Transitioning from kitchen help to an emcee position, the volunteer said they anticipate close to 300 in attendance this year.
“We’ve been trying to get the word out, that it’s open to the community,” Jones said, as an effort to dispel it’s for CVAR members only.
Jones indicated a team of close to 50 volunteers assembles each year to back the event’s success. While many hands are needed the day of, to prep and serve, the auction item volunteers are just as valuable.
“There’s a full force of volunteers that go out and canvass,” businesses in town for donations, he said, adding that those businesses always seem to come through. “We’re just a great community here.”
Now in his 16th year of service, Jones echoed Evans’ sentiments of feeling rewarded through an event that gives so much to those in need.
“We’re all just happy and really privileged to be able to give back to the community,” Jones stated candidly. “This community has been very gracious and very supportive of the Realtors in town. It’s just one way that we as Realtors can give back to the community and show that we care.”