CHP spreads holiday cheer

Miss Antelope Valley Shannon Gonzales looks on as Santa provides a present for a child during CHP’s annual Domestic Violence Dinner.

CHP officers cooked a holiday dinner for Valley Oasis Shelter residents.

LANCASTER – Off-duty California Highway Patrol officers, their spouses, and volunteers worked together to provide some much-needed holiday cheer for nearly 30 local families Monday night.

The group served up a delicious, home-cooked holiday meal to 28 adults and 56 children, staying at the Valley Oasis Shelter, as part of the CHP’s annual Domestic Violence Dinner.

“Every year our officers look forward to doing this, to giving these families just a momentary relief from what they might be going through at the moment,” said CHP Captain Steve Urrea.

“They got out of a bad situation, now they’re on their way to getting on their feet, so we want to put some smiles on their faces and give these people hope,” said CHP Officer Gil Hernandez.

Officers, their spouses and volunteers cooked many of the dishes in the meal, which included turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, macaroni and cheese, and salad.

Miss Antelope Valley Shannon Gonzales and Junior Miss Antelope Valley Tori Gonzales also attended the event and led the children in a sing-along of Jingle Bell.

More than 75 domestic violence victims attended the event.

During the sing-along, the children received a surprise visit from the North Pole. Santa Claus handed out gifts to all the good boys and girls, as well as their parents.

“Some of the toys are donated from the CHiPS for Kids program,” said Hernandez. “And Sam’s Club has partnered with us to give presents to both the adults and the children.”

A Valley Oasis Shelter resident who attended the event said she hadn’t seen her 8-year-old son this happy in a very long time.

”My son has been through so much, but tonight he is eating and laughing and he’s all excited,” the woman said. “Just to see that little light in his eyes again means so much to me, I’m just in awe.”

Representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Specials Victims Unit also attended the event to provide support for the families.

  1 comment for “CHP spreads holiday cheer

  1. dave
    December 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I just want to thank the California Highway Patrol for caring about all the children,and all the other groups you support.You guys and ladies are going make some children happy at christmas.And also, thanks Engine company 33,and all the Engine companys,Sherriff dept Lancaster, Palmdale for putting your lives in harms way everyday you go to work.Dear Saint Michael please protect these Police officers and fire fighters everyday they go out and protect and serve,Its great to no you guys are here for us.Thank you

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