Toys for Joy to hold Christmas Extravaganza
Rachel Baldwin email@example.com
WILLIAMSON - In an effort to spread Christmas joy throughout the Tug Valley area, the organizers of the “Toys for Joy” fundraiser are extending an invitation for all local children to attend a special event scheduled to take place next week in Williamson.
According to event director April Mullins, the event planned for Wednesday at 4 p.m. was originally created to only accommodate needy children from area schools that would receive gifts from the “Toys for Joy” drive. However, after several organizations, churches and individuals stepped forward to donate funding to provide pizza and other snacks for the children, Mullins and her dedicated group of volunteers felt they should open the magical event to include any child up to the age of 12 who wants to attend. The youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or other adult.
“We are planning an awesome evening at the Williamson Field House,” Mullins said. “We will have pictures with Santa and a chance for the kids to share a treat of milk and cookies with him and his elves after he and Mrs. Claus arrives by helicopter to the fieldhouse. Music will be provided by D.J. Homer Mullins; we will have storytelling, coloring contests, cake walks and Christmas carolers will be sharing beautiful songs of the holiday with all who attend. Character favorites of kids including Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder, Care Bears, Elmo and Big Bird will also be there. Two large inflatables will be in place to jump on. Cotton candy and popcorn will also be served.”
“It’s going to be an amazing evening filled with love, caring and sharing.”
Mullins explained that Santa Claus will be passing out gifts to the children who were sponsored for the event, and asks that any parent who plans to bring a child who is not on the list or who did not receive an invitation from Santa, to please bring a wrapped present for their child that will be presented to them by Ol’ St. Nick himself.
“The only thing that we ask is that the gift is in the $10 to $20 range and not an expensive toy. We don’t want the other children to question why Santa didn’t bring them a present like that. We want to make it a fun-filled evening for everyone and for all children to be on an even playing field. Each kid attending must have a gift brought for them if they are not one who is being sponsored by the group.”
Mullins and her group of volunteers have been pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and ringing phones off the hook in an attempt to raise money that was badly needed to make this project a reality. Thanks to several local businesses and individuals who so generously donated funding as well as toys and clothing, the presents are now ready to be wrapped by the congregation of the Reach Out Community Church at Gilbert, who stepped forward and offered to assist with this mass undertaking.
“There are no words that I could ever say to express our gratitude,” said Mullins. “To everyone who has helped us in any way, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. In today’s economy, so many families have fallen on hard times and Christmas would be a very bleak and depressing day if their children didn’t have presents.”
“To me, Christmas is all about the kids,” she said. “They have the belief and the faith that Santa knows where they live and he’s not going to forget them. Thanks to everyone who donated money, toys and their time, we’re going to keep that magic alive for them.”
For many children, the “Christmas Extravaganza” will be an event like they’ve never seen. They can leave all their troubles and worries at the door and enjoy an evening where a kid can be a kid, and where their faith in mankind and in the magic of Christmas will be renewed.
“There’s still time if you want to make a last-minute donation. Just give us a call at the numbers listed below and we will make sure we gather them in,” Mullins said.
For more information on the event, you may call Mullins at 304-475-3551 or 304-784-4459, or Rachel Baldwin at 304-235-4242, ext. 18.
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