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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Santa smiles fills Ford showroom Saturday


Last updated 12/19/2023 at 8:10pm

Ashley Pymm poses with Santa 'Call Me Kris Kringle' Claus during Roberts Ford Second Annual Jingle Bell Rockout this past Saturday. The dealership held the festival for the community and as a way to benefit the local Sugie Lane Foundation to help victims of domestic violence.

A brisk north wind Saturday accompanied Santa to Roberts Ford and blew out the rain before the dealership's Second Annual Jingle Bell Rockout festival.

Sarah Helm, marketing manager for the dealership, said the event is a way for the community to get to know the Roberts Ford family and for the business to help the community. That help includes letting small businesses set up booths to sell or get familiar with their products.

Helm said the weather forecast of rain kept some vendors this year from coming, even though the dealership had set up tents. Still, there was a variety of goods for sale from remote-control trucks to freeze-dried candies, candles, crafts, and Scentsy.

Roberts Ford asked each vendor to donate a new toy for the Bridge City-Orangefield Ministerial Alliance to give to children for the holiday. A large pile was set up on display as some people attending added another.

Crafts were set up for children and their parents helped them as they intensely concentrated on the colors for their Christmas decoration. Outside, a corn-hole game was set up for a competition, or as a couple of young boys discovered, a ramp for a remote-control truck.

The hot chocolate and coffee from Grit N Grind drew a line plus the Bullfish restaurant in Orangefield had its food truck for hot meals. A Santa set up inside the car showroom out of the wind so it wouldn't blow his naturally long white hair and beard.

The Sugie Lane Foundation took the spotlight, though. The local non-profit was started by Emily Ross in honor of her mother, Sugie Lane Vasquez. Vasquez was murdered in 1997 by her husband and Emily's father, Rogelio Guerra Vasquez.

The foundation helps promote domestic violence awareness and has a special goal of helping children who have lost a parent through the violence of an intimate partner.

Three-year-old Kodi Kuckenbecker had fun working on a Christmas decoration as one of the activities for children.

Ross and her group set up an information table on the foundation's programs and how to donate. The Orange County Sheriff's Office had its purple domestic violence awareness patrol SUV set up next to the foundation's table. The patrol vehicle is the first in Texas to promote the helping victims of domestic abuse.

Roberts Ford had raffles for a number of donated items and the money raised was given to the Sugie Lane Foundation.

Roberts Ford is on Green Avenue at 16th Street in Orange in the dealership established in the 1960s by late businessman Charlie Wickersham.


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