For the past 10 years, one of our most popular service projects has been the annual Christmas Party for Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers. We started this project in 2006 at the Crown Plaza Hotel at 9th and Hamilton Streets (now the Holiday Inn Express) with 30 children from the LVCC Walnut Street Center. We then moved the party to the Allentown Brew Works. During those early years, we hired magician Joe Lesko, and one year hired a musician to lead the children in holiday songs. Three years ago we left the Brew Works and began holding the parties at one of LVCC’s largest facilities, the South Mountain Center. There, we were able to invite pre-school children from three LVCC Centers – South Mountain, Walnut Street and the Early Learning Center, to attend the party. This year approximately 110 children participated in the event, which was held on Friday, December 4.
Prior to the event, President Mike Kukitz and Tom Harp made a trip to the local “Toys for Tots” warehouse where they picked up over 100 large “Spongebob” stuffed toys, and a similar quantity of “Clifford the Red Dog” coloring books, complete with crayons. This was an amazing donation by the Marine Corps program, and we thank them. These items, plus an assortment of goodies were handed out to each child at the party.
At 10 AM the morning of the party, Tom Harp, Enos Martin, Young Chang, Joyce Crosby and Todd Siegfried arrived at the South Mountain Center to help set up and prepare for the party. We were joined by six volunteers from the William Allen Key Club, along with their two faculty advisers. We quickly began to fill goody bags, unwrap “Spongebob” dolls, and prepared food for the children’s lunch. Several Key Club members joined our members in the basement preparing six pounds of chicken nuggets, and lugging all the food up two flights to the large activity room where the children had their lunch. We set up a very efficient “assembly line” for the food, piling on the nuggets, carrot sticks, fruit and a cookie and handing the plates to each child. We hovered around the crowd of happy kids, offering seconds.
After lunch, the children were escorted to another room to watch a fantastic magic show by magician Eddy Ray. The show was a big hit as usual, with the kids laughing up a storm at Eddy’s amusing tricks.
Following the show, SANTA made a grand appearance to the delight of the children. He sat down and two by two by classroom, the children had an opportunity to sit down with Santa to share their wishes for Christmas gifts. The party ended with Santa bidding the children farewell and the kids heading out to their busses or classrooms, filled with food, fun and great memories. It was a wonderful party that was enjoyed by children and adults alike!