Story & photo by: Chris MacDonald, news columnist
The Bonillas family hosted a very special Thanksgiving in a Southern California beach town when they invited everyone to come. In addition to sharing their annual tradition with an exchange student from Italy who is living with the family for a year while going to Marina High School in Huntington Beach, newsman Eric Spillman and his camera crew from KTLA showed up to celebrate.
Every Thanksgiving Spillman travels throughout Southern California selecting several families to visit on Thanksgiving Day and this year he chose the Bonillas family because of their attitude of giving. Stephanie Bonillas, the mom, collects toys, gifts and food in two barrels outside the home that her guests are asked to contribute in order to help special causes. This year she is collecting gifts and canned food items for CSP Youth Shelter and Oak View Elementary School.
With camera rolling Spillman watched the family stuff the turkey and he was given honors of selecting the turkey’s name, something the family does each year. He chose the name, Chan, after KTLA Channel 5 traffic reporter Ginger Chan. He then explained to the Italian exchange student what Thanksgiving is about. He said, “You can tell your family back in Italy that we eat way too much food and watch a lot of American football.”
This is another example of California’s way of celebrating Thanksgiving “ stuffed with meaning.”