Brock volunteers gathered at a Thorold elementary school on Wednesday, Dec. 6 to create some holiday magic for children in the local community.
Organized by the Concurrent Education Student Association (CESA), the annual Holiday Extravaganza partnered each Brock volunteer with one of the approximately 150 students at Prince of Wales Public School for a day of crafts and activities.
The volunteers were joined by special guests including the Brock Badgers men’s basketball team, the Thorold Fire Department and a certain special visitor from the North Pole.
“We are excited to have so many special guests attend our Holiday Extravaganza event and interact with the students this year. We know that this event would not be possible without the excitement and energy our amazing partners bring to the students,” said Courtney Kelly, a third-year Concurrent Education J/I – English student and CESA’s event co-ordinator.
From wrapping and sorting gifts to organizing games and packing gift bags, the CESA team was dedicated to organizing a memorable day for everyone involved.
Because some students at Prince of Wales School need extra support, particularly during the holiday season, CESA works with community partners and businesses to pack a gift bag for each child with items such as socks, mittens, toothbrushes, headphones to use when working on the school’s computers, and healthy snacks.
“Getting to see Holiday Extravaganza come together after months of planning makes me extremely proud as an executive,” said Nathalie Jackson, CESA’s Vice-President, External Affairs and a third-year Concurrent Education I/S – Geography and History student.
The highlight of the day was an appearance by Santa, who distributed gifts brought by Brock volunteers for their Prince of Wales buddies. Each volunteer purchased a $20 gift based on information from the school about the child’s interests.
“The reaction that each child has to the event and their personalized gift is heartwarming and humbling. It is a reminder of the true meaning of the holidays and the joy found in giving,” said Tayler Villamere, President of CESA and a third-year Concurrent Education J/I – History student.
“I am so honoured to be on the planning team for this wonderful event and have the opportunity to bring joy and a festive spirit to this amazing community.”