EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Santa came just a little bit early to some seniors, families, and kids at the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church on Hardenburgh Lane tonight as the congregation celebrated its third annual Christmas dinner.  This time, though, Santa didn't come down the chimney, he came to enjoy the party, too.  He also brought a big check.

Santa this year came in the form of Gary Reinhart of HMS Host, the company that oversees operations of restaurants on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, and which not only provided a good deal of the food service for the event, but also donated to the charitable outreach of the faith community, supporting needy families in East Brunswick, North Brunswick, and South River. 

The $10,000 donation allowed LCF to support 17 East Brunswick families, offering them food baskets, toys, gifts, and some essentials during this holiday season.  Several families were suggested to the church by the East Brunswick Department of parks and Recreation's "Adopt a Family" program.

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Collections were organized by members of the the church's youth program who also worked at the event.

HMS Host is also working with the local East Brunswick business Popcorn for the People, supporting that company's efforts to move their product into New Jersey roadway locations.  Reinhart also expressed interest in employing disabled adults who have been trained by the nonprofit company that offers real work experiences to adults with autism.