Menifee observes Veterans Day with drive-thru celebration

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Jessica McMillen of Menifee Community Services gives a goodie bag to a veteran at a drive-thru Veterans Day parade at Kay Ceniceros Senior Center, Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Menifee Community Services organized a drive-thru celebration for veterans at the Kay Ceniceros Senior Center Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Veterans were encouraged to drive their vehicles around the senior center parking lot, which was decorated with red, white and blue balloons.

Jessica McMillen, a representative of Menifee Community Services, welcomed and presented service members of all ages with a small gift bag containing a small American flag, a magnet and a small pin.

Keeping COVID-19 restrictions in mind, McMillen placed the gift bags on an empty seat in the vehicle before thanking the veterans for their service.

Chelsea Bollinger, event organizer and coordinator of Community Services, said that the city of Menifee was looking forward to celebrating their veterans.

“We are excited to have our veterans be celebrated,” Bollinger said.

Kay Ceniceros Senior Center’s entrance is decorated with festive balloons and a sign thanking veterans, in preparation for a drive-thru veterans parade, Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Veterans Day goodie bags are ready to be distributed at a drive-thru veterans parade at Kay Ceniceros Senior Center.
Representatives from Menifee’s Community Services Department wear gloves while distributing “Thank You” goodie bags to veterans in a drive-thru celebration.

Normally, the city of Menifee puts on a large public event at the Menifee Veterans Memorial with food and fellowship; however, due to Riverside County being in the “purple tier,” the city organized the drive-thru parade to keep the city’s annual tradition of celebrating their veterans.

“It was important to recognize and not forget about the day.” Bollinger said.

The senior center offers free drive-thru meals, available to older adults, age 60 and above, so they were prepared for this event, she said.

“We’re keeping the same concept (as the drive-thru meals) to keep it safe.” Bollinger said.

The event lasted from 3-5 p.m. with veterans trickling in and out of the parking lot throughout.

For more information about future events, visit https://www.cityofmenifee.us/ and to sign up for free drive-thru meals, call 951-672-5673.

Jeremiah Tatola can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.