PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 23, 2015 — More than 200 children and their families from state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ 8th Senatorial District welcomed the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, received gifts, enjoyed entertainment and tasty refreshments during the lawmaker’s annual “Gifts for the Holidays” party, Thursday, Dec. 17, at the KIPP Charter School/Motivation High School in Philadelphia.
“We hold ‘Gifts for the Holidays’ because this is the time of year for children and being child-like,” Sen. Williams said. “Not every child gets to experience the wonder of the holidays so it’s important that we do this to remind them that they are not alone during Christmas or Kwanzaa or any day that is meaningful to many.
“Seeing their faces light up when Santa and Mrs. Claus visited and delivered early presents is something I look forward to every December.”
Children who attended the holiday celebration were invited with the help of community organizations, community leaders, public schools and places of worship.
“Gifts for the Holidays” started at 4 p.m. on the 17th with music by DJ Rudeboi and continued for the next three hours with an interactive presentation by Black Women in Sport Foundation, a show by Dee the Magician, a craft corner and stations for making tree ornaments, and gifts for the children.
There was also face painting, hip hop dancing led by Eagles’ cheerleader choreographer Dwayne Townsend, a visit from Ronald McDonald, and popping balloons on the Christmas tree that resulted in bikes and helmets for 15 children courtesy of Ch2MHill.
While Sen. Williams and his staff present the annual event, he said he couldn’t do it without the great support of Keystone First, CH2MHill, Campus Apartments, Comcast Spectacor, Community College of Philadelphia Consortium, The Daniel Veloric Foundation, Greater Philadelphia Health Action Health Partners Foundation, McDonald’s, Morris J. Cohen & Co., Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, SugarHouse, Toys for Tots, Wawa, Wells Fargo, and Black Women in Sport Foundation.
“I also want to thank volunteers from Boys Latin Charter School, the Island Avenue McDonalds, and Rep. Joanna McClinton’s office,” Williams said. “Also, a big round of applause for Tyrique Glasgow of Young Chances who donated the live Christmas tree.”