The Fulfillment Fund’s holiday party for children is an annual tradition more than four decades in the running. Hosted this year at CBS Television Studios, more than 350 children enjoyed the holiday festivities.
By Aldwin Escuadro
The Fulfillment Fund’s annual holiday party for young children brings together several hundred children, ages 5-12, from throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District for a memorable day of festive fun! The event was held on Friday, December 5th at the CBS lot in Los Angeles. This year, approximately 350 children were in attendance, in addition to their teachers, guests and volunteers.
The children entered a Winter Wonderland with magical sets created by CBS set decorators. After having their picture taken with Santa or Mrs. Claus, the children got to see a variety show with animals brought by the staff at Moorpark College Teaching Zoo. The children got to see and learn about different animals, such as hedgehogs, exotic parrots, pot belly pigs, just to name a few. The biggest hit was Morty. Morty is a 10 foot boa constrictor who had to be held by four Moorpark instructors.
Other acts included the Harvard-Westlake choir singing Christmas songs for the kids, and Chuck and Ali (a duo) also sang some Christmas songs. They were followed up by a dance duo, LT & Soda who danced for the kids and then asked all kids to participate in dancing with the two instructors. LT & Soda had everyone in the room moving and dancing, all children and staff were on their feet mimicking the dance moves from the dancers. After everyone settled down, the Boys and Girls Club did a special twirling rendition to the song Frozen.
After the entertainment was done, the children ate and went back to school. The last present for the kids was a wrapped surprise when they got back to school. Every year the Mentor Program wraps the gifts for this event and the toys are distributed when the kids get dropped off. The teachers are asked to hand out the toys when they get back from event.
When asked what were some of the students' favorite parts of the day some said, “I liked singing along with the choir and the people playing the guitar”, stated Jasmine, a 6th grader from College Ready Middle School. Another student from the same school stated, “I liked seeing the animals, I was scared when they brought out the big snake."
Fulfillment Fund Mentors and Students Wrap Gifts for Children
Each year, participants in the Fulfillment Fund Mentor Program wrap gifts for the students who attend the annual holiday party. The Fulfillment Fund’s Holiday Gift Wrap/Brunch was held at one of the Fulfillment Fund's partner middle schools, New Los Angeles Charter Middle School. At this event, more than 200 mentors, students and their parents showed up to help provide holiday cheer by wrapping gifts, making cards for a retirement home, writing well wishes for our troops overseas, making reindeer candy canes and making goodie bags filled with candy for the homeless.
All guests were treated to Tommy’s, who had a truck parked in the parking lot where guests could enjoy their signature chili burgers and fries. It was great to see all participants work so hard on the cards. They put in the time and paid close attention to details in these cards. Wrapping over 450 gifts was not an easy task, but the teamwork of all the mentors, students and parents made this task look easy. As the Fulfillment Fund grows, we hope to accept more students into the Mentor Program in the coming years. We also hope to invite more students each year to our annual Holiday Party at CBS.