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Rotary Shatters Previous Record for Food Donations

The number of Christmas dinners collected for local families in need in 2012 blew past the previous Sunrise Rotary record set for Thanksgiving dinners collected in 2012.

The San Clemente Sunrise Rotary volunteers in 2012 have more than quadrupled the amount of holiday meals they collected for local families in need.

They collected 155 boxes for Thanksgiving 2012 -- containing turkeys, potatoes, canned goods and all the fixings. That record was surpassed this past weekend when the Rotary and the Interact Club at the San Clemente High School collected 175 boxes containing Christmas dinners.

Sharon Cooney, who coordinated the drives, said volunteers packaged up the food up for distribution at the Holiday Inn in downtown San Clemente Monday. The boxes -- each of which feeds a family -- go to Family Assistance Ministries, Laura's House domestic violence shelter and Marine families.

"Thirty-seven boxes didn't have turkeys, but it's the most we've ever done," Cooney said. "I wish you could have made it Monday -- it looked like more than double what we had for Thanksgiving. There were 175 bags of just potatoes."

Cooney said that along with the Interact Club, San Clemente High School cheerleaders participated in the collections outside the Camino de Los Mares Ralphs and the Albertsons next to the school.

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