By: Fredwill Hernandez
Hundreds of cars were lining up [a few hours] early on Garfield Ave. in Bell Gardens, and even some families, which also included fans on foot who lined up on the sidewalk a few feet from Del Records offices in Bell Gardens, Ca. — in [highly] anticipation of the start of [Del Records] Annual Turkey drive which this year took place on Tues. – Nov. 22, 2022. Del Records staff along with Regional Mexican artists that included [brothers Brian and Pedro Tovar of] Eslabon Armado, [brothers Ruben and Marcos Leyba of] Los Del Limit, and Jose Manuel, who aside from handing out turkeys were also taking photos, selfies, and signing autographs which included cell phones, t-shirts, and even guitars personally brought by fans in anticipation of not only taking home a turkey — but also meeting them.
“I came here to pick up a turkey, and to get my guitar signed by my all time favorite group Eslabon Armado,” explained fifteen year old Brian Beltran, of Cudahy, Ca. – who had arrived early and was brought to the turkey giveaway by both of his parents. “I was so excited to meet Eslabon Armado who signed my guitar. I also want to thank both of my parents who took time out to their schedule to bring me here. Everything worked out as plan because I got my guitar signed by both of them, I’m just so happy.”
The event which was [collectively] coordinated with the City of Bell Gardens, had Public Works employees, and Bell Gardens Police Dept. [officers] coordinating and directing traffic “overseen both times” by Alfredo Onate, Street Maintenance Supervisor, City of Bell Gardens.
“Today we are here celebrating Thanksgiving and we are very grateful for Angel [Del Villar] of Del Records to continue to give from their generosity to our community, we are a very low income community — so anyone who takes out of their time and money is always welcomed and loved,” eloquently expressed [Councilwoman] Lisseth Flores-Franco, City of Bell Gardens, who was also enthusiastically handing out turkeys. “I appreciate him because he’s been doing this every year [for the past few years] and I’m very proud to have some sort of partnership of this type in our community.”
Even though Angel’s name was being brought up [and praised] who was not present, it was his son Andrew Del Villar, who was [completely] in charge of the logistics and made sure everything during the event ran smoothly. Aside from the turkeys being given out, Del Records also “handed out hundreds of pieces” of their Del Records merchandise.
To “close the year off” Del Records, also had [previously] scheduled a Toy Drive, [toy giveaway] on Dec. 18, 2022, which like the Turkey Giveaway went off smoothly. For three [continuous] hours hundreds of cars who were being attended to eight cars at a time were asked, “how many kids, boys or girls they had ?,” and were handed multiple gifts accordingly.
As it also happened during the Turkey Giveaway, families [in their cars] started to line up early, as was the case for the first three cars in line which all came together and knew each other.
“We got here about 5:50 in the morning, we came here for the free toys give away with Del Records, its something that benefits families that are in need, this helps us out economically during this moment [time], and we really appreciate it,” explained Geraldine Ortiz, who drove from East Los Angeles to Bell Gardens with her friends.
Even though it had been previously announced that there would be no walk ups [allowed], only people in their vehicles would receive toys, Eslabon Armado’s Pedro and Brian Tovar’s parents and [little] sister who were there also helping to hand out toys made sure “no one was turned away or went home empty handed.”