View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

‘Sparks of Love’ for kids

Local realtors give gifts, lunch to kids in need

Posted: December 16, 2008 9:54 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2008 1:00 p.m.

At risk children from around the valley had lunch with Santa and members of the L.A County Fire Dept. Station 149 at the Castaic Sports Complex. While some had lunch, other children spent time with Santa and watched the Christmas classic, "The Grinch."

View More »
 
More than 50 wide-eyed first- and second-graders eagerly waited for Santa to call their name.

"Look!" said six-year-old Jada as she pointed to her new Hannah Montana dance mat.

Jada was one of the underprivileged Castaic Union School District students treated to toys donated by members of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors Santa Clarita Valley Division, Tuesday at the Castaic Sports Complex.

For the first time, the association's local division paired with the L.A. County Fire Department to provide "Sparks of Love," a holiday luncheon for at-risk children.

For the past several years, the association hosted the event in the San Fernando

Valley. But, after recognizing a local need, Santa Clarita resident and president Mary Funk decided it was time to bring the program to Santa Clarita.

"It's the first time we're out here and we're very pleased," she said.

Since it was the local division's first event, they decided to start small, Funk said. This year they asked the Castaic Union School District to participate.

District superintendent Jim Gibson said he thought it was a "wonderful idea" when members of the association approached him.

"There are kids in our community who could use some extra fun and activities," Gibson said. "We kind of know kids' home situations and we check with teachers so we know who the families are that need a little extra help.

"We knew (the association) would do something really nice and so much more than we could have asked for."

Gibson said the chosen kids were told they won a contest.

"We wanted them to feel like they won a contest so they can feel good about it," he said. "So they don't have to feel like it's because they don't have something."

Event co-chair Mary McCormick of Realty Executives said she was moved to tears when she saw the kids get off the bus.

"They're so sweet," she said.

The cheery afternoon began with the arrival by Santa, portrayed by Mike Davis of Realty Executives, in a fire truck.

Local firefighters passed out plastic fire hats to the enthusiastic children.

"We always take up an opportunity to help out the local community," said Capt. Patrick Errett of L.A. County Fire. "It's a great opportunity for the kids to see us in a non-emergency and to familiarize themselves with us.

"Plus, we like to get out and celebrate festivities with the community," the captain said.

Association affiliates dressed as elves, then led the little ones to a table of catered hamburgers, salad and chicken fingers - a perfectly simple meal for the first-and second-graders. Bristol Farms and Rattlers restaurant donated food; members of the association served.

Before handing out the presents, Santa gave the kids a few reminders.

"Be nice during the holiday ... and know these gifts were given to you because you are loved and people care about you," said Davis as Santa.

Members of the association were asked to adopt one child and provide two gifts for each, McCormick said.

Those who adopted a child were given the child's age and gender to provide the appropriate gifts.

Six-year-old April smiled as she pulled out her Polly-Pocket kit, Barbie and Candy Land gameboard.

"I like all of them," she said.

Gibson expressed his appreciation of the association's sensitivity to the children's interests, from the food to the gifts.

"We couldn't ask for them to be more in touch with what the children like," he said.

More than 50 wide-eyed first- and second-graders eagerly waited for Santa to call their name.

"Look!" said six-year-old Jada as she pointed to her new Hannah Montana dance mat.

Jada was one of the underprivileged Castaic Union School District students treated to toys donated by members of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors Santa Clarita Valley Division, Tuesday at the Castaic Sports Complex.

For the first time, the association's local division paired with the L.A. County Fire Department to provide "Sparks of Love," a holiday luncheon for at-risk children.

For the past several years, the association hosted the event in the San Fernando

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...