Rialto businesses get into holiday spirit by giving back

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IECN photo David Phillips: Inland Empire Explorer host Joel Greene, right, is spreading holiday cheer through the show’s 12 Days of Christmas. Joel is pictured with Santa at the Renaissance Marketplace during the live kick-off event.
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Inland Empire Explorer, the television show and all-around guide to everything awesome in the Inland Empire brought back their 12 Days of Christmas giveaways this year and Rialto businesses big and small jumped at the chance to get involved.

Show host Joel Greene said during a live kick-off in the new Renaissance Marketplace shopping center that the first year the team looked at their remaining freebies they could give away during December before many of the items expired, and has since morphed into a giveaway event that takes an “all hands on deck” mentality to manage.

The 12 Days of Christmas ran on the show’s Facebook Page, and consistsed of a combination of gifts people can randomly win themselves, opportunities to nominate a deserving person or family, and new this year – an effort to raise money for victims of the recent wildfires in California.

One of the things that Joel Greene says he loves most about the 12 Days of Christmas is how the show’s fans (over 67K on Facebook) are giving virtual high fives to the ones who win each day.

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In the mixture of NASCAR tickets, Mall Gift Cards and Christmas Trees that are part of the giveaways, Rialto businesses are getting into the exclusive gift giveaway extravaganza. In 2017 only two Rialto businesses were part of this holiday effort. This year that number has grown to 4 Rialto businesses that want to give back to the community this year.

Rialto Flooring, a local home improvement store on Foothill Blvd and Lilac, is asking Inland Empire Explorer fans to nominate (2) deserving families to win $50 gift cards to Lucille’s Smokehouse and BBQ, and will also be giving away a couple of their popular company hats.

Renaissance Marketplace, a major partner this year in making the 12 Days of Christmas happen, gave away a series of picture packages to visit Santa in the new shopping center this year. The Renaissance Marketplace brought Joel Greene and Santa together on the 1st day of Christmas where Joel and Santa asked the fans to show kindness this Christmas.

Esquivel Auto Depot on Foothill Blvd and Cactus Ave. is joining for a 2nd year and giving away Stater Bros. gift cards and gas cards. Esquivel Auto Depot is also holding their annual Christmas event where they provide food and gifts for the holidays.

Last but no least is the newest business in Rialto, The Forum Blues Café in the John Longville Train Depot on the Metro Link tracks, which is giving away a $250 Visa gift card to a deserving family. Owner Terrance Harper isn’t stopping there, he is giving away $1 for every follower his restaurant gets on Instagram up to $2,000 to be donated to the victims of the recent wildfires. Harper is now calling on other media outlets to spread the message of hope and help for people who have lost everything in the blink of an eye.

“It is up to us who have been blessed to help out people in need when we have the means and opportunity,” Harper concluded.

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David Phillips grew up in Rialto and is passionate about his community, local politics, and great food. David holds an AA in Child Development and a BA in Public Administration. David likes to golf, fish and is an avid food Influencer hitting up awesome food in the Rialto area and beyond. David has also been the moving force behind innovative changes in Rialto city and school district policies. David is also passionate about keeping our youth off drugs and leading our youth into careers that make them happy. He is also known by the popular nickname Mr. Inland Empire because of his expansive knowledge of what is going on in the local region. David can be reached at rialtosnow@gmail.com.