In 1999, while driving to the desert from Minnesota, Carolyn McChesney suggested to her husband Mike that they find a way to give back to their winter desert community. They came up with the idea of a fun golf tournament with half of the $5 entry fee going towards prizes and half towards Christmas gifts for the local Desert Center children. Their lot, at the time, had very productive lemon trees, so Carolyn decided to bake lemon meringue pies which they raffled off. Since 1999, the first Sunday in December has been designated for this fundraiser.
Carolyn used to make 40+ pies herself. For the past 2 years, several members have volunteered to help bake pies in their homes. Members have volunteered to set up fun games for the golfers, sell hot dogs and beverages, help with raffle ticket sales, shop for presents, etc. All proceeds go toward making Christmas a little more special for local kids.
Desert Center students ages K-8 write letters to Santa giving us ideas for gifts to purchase. Christmas gifts are purchased for area children from ages 1 through 18.
A couple of years ago, it was suggested we call the project “Community Spirit of Giving”. It describes how so many in our little Lake Tamarisk community work together to give back to the greater Desert Center community. So many parents and students over the years have expressed such wonderful appreciation for what we do.