Another Christmas has arrived, and here at Wayne Township we are feeling the glow of having achieved another successful Christmas Bureau Drive (serving more families and children than ever before) and also of holding our 7th Annual Holiday Celebration at the McMillen Park Community Center on Saturday, December 15.
As I have shared with you before, this event is something I really enjoy holding because I put myself in the shoes of families who get a lot of their Christmas joy from community events like our Holiday Celebration. I grew up in a family of eleven children and learned at an early age about not having an abundance of material possessions. While I had a lot love as a child, I still had difficulty at Christmas understanding why I couldn’t have all the nifty presents I wanted. And, looking back now, I know the adults who loved me regretted that they were not able to give me all I wanted for Christmas.
In comes the Holiday Celebration! At our annual party the community came together with toys, food and entertainment to throw a four-hour party that was free and open for all to enjoy. Kids jumped in bounce houses, got their faces painted, petted live animals, played basketball and other games, and got lots of prizes and gifts. A wonderful time was had by all.
My staff and their families put lots of their own time and treasure into this event, and our WTTO Board Members contributed as well. To reach our lofty goals there were many community partners that I am grateful to for all their contributions of both in-kind and monetary donations. This is the first year that we had what we called “Levels of Giving,” and while we are so grateful for each and every contribution, both large and small, here I would like to thank our Silver, Gold, and Platinum Donors: Sand Point Living Interiors, Inc., Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation (the McMillen Center), McDonald’s Restaurant, Blue Marble, Inc., the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, The Salvation Army, NIPSCO, A Party-A-Part, WM Imaging Solutions, Inc., Applied Metals & Machine Works, Burger King, CGH Steel, Inc. (dba Henry Steel), Hoosier Physical Therapy, Lake City Bank, Old National Bank, Optimist Club of Fort Wayne Foundation, PHD, Inc., Pizza Hut, Omni Source, Philip K GiaQuinta, Net Results, Inc., Haller & Colvin, Lutheran Health Network, Stitches of Hope, and the Volunteer Center.
What we do is gather contributions to hold our Holiday Celebration and to fund our Recognizing Achievement Scholarships and our Academic Encouragement Awards that we grant to deserving young scholars at the end of the spring semester. I will recognize more donors when I write about those scholarship winners this coming summer.
Whatever you celebrate, I hope your winter holiday is as warm and happy as mine has been this year. Everyone deserves some cheer at his time of year. From me to you: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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