When it comes to holiday joy, the last thing The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley wanted to do was “stop the spread.” In fact, spreading holiday joy is just what happened at the center’s annual Frosty Fest event on Dec. 18.
The delight of nearly 1,000 children and their families was infectious. From within their vehicles, invitees were treated to a drive-through experience that featured holiday lights, “snow” and festive music. Children received holiday gifts hand-picked to match their age and gender. Santa posed alongside each vehicle for a safely distanced photo. As they bid farewell, attendees received a meal to-go provided by Antelope Valley Hospital’s dietary services department.
Frosty Fest is exclusively for participants of Children’s Center programs, which include services for grandparents and other family members serving as caregivers for a relative’s children; clinical therapy for children affected by trauma (such as child abuse); mentorship and support for transitional-age youth, many of whom are aging out of foster care; and justice-involved adults who are reentering society after incarceration, the majority of whom are parents.
“Treating these children and their families to a fun and festive experience designed just for them was more important this year than ever before,” said Sue Page, executive director of the Children’s Center. “We wanted to help our families make holiday memories by creating a safe, unique experience that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have. Based on their contagious smiles and laughter, I think we succeeded.”
Frosty Fest is made possible through the generous support of local donors. Every year Antelope Valley Hospital underwrites a portion of the event’s costs, donates food and holds a toy drive. Antelope Valley Transit Authority shares the toys it collects from Stuff-a-Bus with the Children’s Center. PetsMart and its customers donated hundreds of stuffed animals. Numerous individuals and organizations collected and donated toys, including Edwards Air Force Base, California Highway Patrol, Antelope Valley Church, City of Lancaster, Lucky Luke Brewing Company, LEO + Mamas, Hardcore Fitness, Shaggers Motorcycle Club, Target and more.
“We couldn’t do this without the support of the local community,” noted Page. “I am humbled by the generosity of everyone who donated toys, time, and money to make Frosty Fest possible.”
[Information via news release from The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley.]