Upward of 200 needy children will again celebrate Christmas this year, thanks to the success of the annual RE/MAX Yard Sale for Charity. The June 6 sale raised $2,500 toward the annual North Fork Children's Christmas Party, held the second Saturday of December at Hotchkiss Memorial Hall.
The annual party provides children from birth to age 10 with a big gift bag stuffed with a winter jacket, shoes, outfits, a bath towel, books, toys, socks and undergarments, hat and gloves, stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books. Children ages 11-12 also receive gift certificates.
The gifts are targeted toward children who, for a number of reasons, might otherwise not celebrate the holiday, said NFCCP director Pam Bliss. Surprisingly, one of the most welcomed items in the bag is often a bath towel they can call their own.
RE/MAX begins collecting yard sale donations a month in advance. This year it was fortunate enough to receive an abundance of donations, including a sofa/hide-a-bed, two antique record players, other various antiques, and numerous household items.
The NFCCP committee gives out about 3,000 presents during the three-hour party, and spend months collecting them, generally purchasing new items in January and February when deals are plentiful. Members are always on the lookout for bargains, said Bliss.
Children are also treated to lunch and enjoy games, face painting and caroling. Parents can also enjoy a craft-making session. "The adults have as much fun as the kids," said Bliss.
Santa arrives after carols are sung and hands out the sacks before posing for pictures with the children.
This year's party promises to be a success, thanks to the donation, said Bliss. "Twenty-five hundred dollars goes a long way."
The aquatics area at Bill Heddles Recreation Center continues to be closed as staff awaits the arrival of new lighting equipment and wiring.
"We are moving forward on this repair as fast as supplies will allow us to," said recreation director Wilma Erven.