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Helping Hands for the Holidays set for Nov. 25

By Staff | Nov 14, 2019

It’s nearing that time of year again when the community gathers at the Team Aubuchon Corporate Office for its annual gathering to support three local charities in time for the holiday season.

This year, which marks the 21st annual Helping Hands for the Holidays, will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25.

“Once again we are going to open our doors to the community and invite their giving spirit to come on in. Many of Southwest Florida’s restaurants have donated their food, so we can feed everyone that attends the event. We will have a visit from Santa Claus and our Christmas tree lighting. There will be lots of festivities and great fellowship that takes place,” said Gary Aubuchon, president of the Aubuchon Team of Companies.

Santa Claus typically arrives around 6 p.m., right after the Christmas tree is lit.

The event began in 1999 as a Holiday House where one of their models was decorated and opened throughout the month as a way to passively raise money for charity. When the event began more than 20 years ago, the charities were rotated every year.

In 2002, when Aubuchon Team of Companies moved into its headquarter building, the Holiday House transformed into Helping Hands for the Holidays.

Participating restaurants this year include Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon; Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar; Outback Steakhouse; Carrabba’s Italian Grill; Chick-fil-A; Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery; RumRunners; Fathoms Restaurant & Bar; Ceno Grille; Slate’s; 4 Sestras Bistro to Go; Metro Diner and Merrick Seafood.

“Each year we’ve set a goal to get at least one dollar more than the prior year,” Aubuchon said. “Last year we were able to do that and we raised $36,000. This year’s goal is to beat that number by a dollar.”

There will be a donation desk inside the building for those who would like to donate whatever amount moves them.

“There is no admission fee, and no requirement. It’s an open table and we encourage those to come and give freely,” he said.

The Make A Wish Foundation, Builders Care and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida remain the three beneficiaries.

“We’ve had personal involvement with all three organizations. We have had employee families that needed services of the Ronald McDonald House and Make A Wish. We have worked directly with Builders Care in the past helping to rehabilitate houses for those who are disadvantaged,” Aubuchon said. “All three charities play a very meaningful role in helping people in Southwest Florida in need. We are very proud to support all three.”

The event is a favorite of his because, sadly, it is the only time he sees so many of his friends during the year. Aubuchon said Helping Hands for the Holiday is a giant community reunion that he really enjoys.

Team Aubuchon Corporate Office is at 4707 S.E. 9th Place.

For those who cannot make the event, but would like to donate can visit www.TeamAubuchon.com.