Jacqueline Dunn, PBA
A Childs Christmas Chair
The Pasadena Business Association has been providing Christmas gifts to Pasadena area children since 2000 when Debi Grim spearheaded the project by helping a couple of families with gifts and food. When Debbie Romano took over, she attached an identity to the project by calling it “A Child’s Christmas” which has continued to grow and blossom due to the help and generous donations by dozens of people. During the 2015 Christmas season, A Childs Christmas provided gifts and food to 88 children from 27 families that were identified by school counselors in the Pasadena community.
Sponsorship comes in different styles. We have individuals and businesses who adopt one or more children by purchasing gifts from wish lists. Other sponsors provide food, cash donations, and dinners. Every year, an anonymous donor provides bikes for about a dozen of the children. This year, we had donors purchase helmets to go with the bikes. Another addition to the project this year, were filled stockings for every child that were donated by Liberty Tax Service.
Of course, children ask for all sorts of toys and clothes but what is most touching is when they ask for basic necessities such as sheets for their beds and warm blankets and pillows.
Once all the gifts have been purchased, approximately 45 volunteers gathered at Kurtz’s Beach where John Mason graciously opened his door for us to wrap gifts amidst a huge renovation taking place at his venue. Year after year, John Mason and Tim Klug make sure the high school students and other volunteers are taken care of by providing beverages and snacks to get us through. The volunteers wrapped everything in about 2 hours, record breaking time. It helps to have some of the same volunteers so they can show the others the ropes. Caroline Schultz and Kacie McDonald have been wrapping gifts for A Childs Christmas since they were 7 years old. Now, ten years later, they are pros and bring friends to be part of the day. After families pick up their gifts on the day of gift wrapping, Doug Cashmere takes over by loading his truck with unclaimed gifts and delivers them to the schools where counselors make sure the families receive their packages and food.
Thank you to these individuals and businesses who sponsored children by purchasing gifts: Arundel Federal Savings Bank, Chesapeake High School Cheerleaders and Football teams, Jerry and Nancy Nicklow, Holly Bair, Kim Ward, Donna Kohlhafer, Lauer’s Supermarket, Liberty Tax, North Arundel Savings Bank, Toastmasters, Aegis Title, Fay’s Bus Service, Carmie Buckey, the Raven’s Roost, Keisha Montague, BB & T Bank, Maryland Watson, Jenni Smith, Leah Stocksdale, Sarah Hyde, Crabby Crawlers, Clark and Anderson CPAs, Northeast High School Drama Department, Joe McDonald, Browns Toyota, Doug Cashmere, Bunnie Clark, Baker Sisters Dentistry, Absolute Underground, Calvert Veterinary Center, Dianne Hale, Lauren Smith, Robin Fries, the UPS Store #1881, the Jefferson’s, and the Pasadena Business Association.
Thank you to everyone who made cash and other donations: Meagan Simonaire, Bay Country Rentals, Pat’s Select, the PBA Tree Lighting Ceremony, Shirley Jacobs, Bonnie Dausch, Henry Schmidt, Lonnie & Diana Lancione, The Pasadena Voice staff, PBA Leads Group, Victory Lounge, Gina Cook, Jack Brown, Bonnie Katz, Jennifer @ Liberty Tax, and Idea Weaver Promotions.
Thank you to the volunteers who take their Saturday morning to wrap gifts and sort food: Affinity One Events, Jacqueline Meggett and Keisha Montague. From Archbishop Spalding High School: Ellie Greger and Lauren Hale. From Chesapeake High School: Chris Fenzel, Donna Alder, Heather Banner, Kevin Blades, Pamela Blades, Tori Bonucci, Arianna Bortle, Ana Brannock, Maycie Breen, Sophia Charney, Payton Dalessio, Sierra Finnerty, Amanda Hardesty, Jason Hawkins, Brooke Henningsen, Emily Hosse, Maya Kelly, Jordan Latham, Erika Lehnert, Carly McCree, Kacie McDonald, Tommy McNamara, Hayley Mentzer, Paris Ogonowski, Carleigh Petersen, Lindsey Petersen, Rebecca Ray, Kevin Ruzin, Timothy Steele, Taylor Stracke, Jillian Taylor, Karen Tebo, and Alyssa Worsham. Reagan Somers from Granite Baptist School. Keyvon Montague from George Fox Middle School. Rashod Montague from Jacobsville Elementary School. Caroline Schultz from Northeast High School. Thank you Rene Seckman. Thank you to my sister, Michele Dunn who always shows up to do whatever is needed that day.
Thank you Melissa Bajadek for stepping in to help with the details associated with the schools and delivering of ham dinners. And, last but not least, thank you to Sandi Parrish, who works behind and in front of the scenes by keeping track of the donations and shopping when needed. She works above and beyond her work hours to ensure all the pieces fall into place. A huge thank you!
If you want to help with A Childs Christmas next year, mark your calendars now for November 1, 2016 and contact the PBA Office at PasadenaBusinessAssociation1@verizon.net. Happy New Year and God Bless.