Winners in 'Most Memorable Moment' Contest Announced

Five entrants in the Menifee 24/7 "Most Memorable Moment" of 2013 contest have been selected to win prizes for their outstanding entries.

Readers were asked to write about their greatest memories of the past year in Menifee. We received many great entries. Here are the winners and the prizes they will receive, listed with their winning essays:

3-month membership to Fitness 19, including 4 training sessions, and a $25 gift card to Breakfast Club Menifee

My most memorable Menifee moment occurred two weeks ago at the Menifee Countryside Marketplace during Santa's arrival. My husband and I arrived at the Marketplace with our three children: Matilda, who is 5, Tabytha, who is 3, and our son Ashby, who is 1. Since it was Christmastime, the children were very excited to see Santa!

They were welcomed with open arms, and even received awesome balloon animals as welcome gifts. Santa was friendly, warm, and playful: Everything a Santa should be. Then the helpful photographer provided us with a coupon for our free photograph! It all seemed to too good to be true.

Then, as if all that wasn't enough, we were guided towards the free rides on Santa's sleigh with Santa's horses! The kids couldn't believe their eyes when they saw it. We trotted across the parking lot on that crisp, cool Sunday and it truly seemed magical.

My husband and I felt so incredibly grateful to live in a city that would provide such wonderful, magical memories to its residents. Watching our children light up on Santa's lap and seeing their eyes sparkle with amazement during the sleigh ride was both priceless and unforgettable. Thank you, Menifee!

3-month membership to Fitness 19 and a $25 gift card to Pitstop Pub

I moved to Menifee about a year and a half ago, and have realized how many great people make up this community.

One time that really pops out was about two weeks ago. I was at the Shell gas station and only had $2.50 for gas. A man was behind me at the counter and I told him to go ahead as I was trying to count my change. I go outside, and after pumping my gas, that same man calls me over to his pump and puts $9 into my tank. I was so grateful I started to tear up. That was the nicest thing someone has ever done for me.

I thanked him so much and he was very happy to help. Not in every town you will find such nice people. And small things like that make me realize that moving here was a great decision!

3-month membership to Fitness 19

My husband and I moved to Menifee in July of 2012. Born and raised in Orange County, we were looking for a change of pace and lifestyle and my husband was presented a job opportunity he couldn’t refuse. So we packed up our apartment and moved to a rental home in Menifee Lakes and have since purchased our first home in Heritage Lakes.

While Menifee isn’t that different from Orange County, we did notice a few subtle differences off the bat: For instance, the sense of community. Whether it was everyone coming together to find a missing child or missing pets or just the feeling of neighborly warmth that I hadn’t experienced before, Menifee proved to be special. The friendly waves and smiles while going around town was quite the welcome change.

While all of these experiences have been memorable, the event that stands out in my mind the most is the day we got the keys to our first home. We talked about and planned all the home improvement projects we were going to do. Suddenly, painting/installing new flooring wasn’t just about personal preference; we were making an investment. Even more important, however, was that we were finally home.

$25 gift card to Breakfast Club Menifee

I think my most memorable moment comes from friends in the Menifee community. In 2011, my daughter was diagnosed with Autism. For the first year, I hid away and never reached out or tried to meet other parents going through the same journey. In 2012, I finally reached out and met a few wonderful friends in the Menifee community. They have offered to do meet ups or play dates at their houses and basically opened their homes and hearts to my daughter and I.

Through meeting new friends, I have grown as a mom and learned more about my daughter. It makes the learning process as a special needs mom a lot easier when you have a wonderful community and friends that "get" what you're going through and won't judge when your child acts differently or has a meltdown in public.

So, thanks again for my friends in the Menifee community for being there when I truly needed good friends. Happy New Year my friends and may awareness about our special needs kids in this community continue to grow.

$25 gift card to Pitstop Pub

My most memorable moment of 2013 would be when Terry Smith Jr. went missing. Not only because the case gripped the headlines, but also because it brought the community of Menifee together. It showed us all how to truly be there for one another in the midst of a tragedy.

It was truly amazing to see how quickly the members of our small town rallied together to set up search parties, donating not only money but their time, effort, and resources. Not resting even after hours of searching and the sun had set. Even after he was found, the community still continued to come together, setting up a memorial fund. It touched my heart to not only witness such acts of kindness from complete strangers but to also be able to be a part of something so amazing.

Congratulations to our winners and thanks everyone for playing. Happy New Year!


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