Once again this year, Guyanese-American couple Brian and Pauline Clarke brought the joy and excitement of their annual Christmas party to hundreds of happy children in the village of Lodge in near the Guyanese capital of Georgetown on Dec. 23.
The husband-and-wife team, born in Lodge but now living in Brooklyn, were assisted by relatives and friends in handing out more than 300 gadgets, trinkets, playthings and gizmos, as well as clothing at the party, which entertained festively dressed boys and girls with music, games and holiday-themed fare during a seven-hour, action-packed afternoon in their expansive, colorfully decorated backyard in the capital city.
The couple’s first party that shared gifts to just 25 kids in December, 1981 has expanded to include hundreds of children, as word spread like wildfire about the festive event that the charitable family host each year, that Brian says keeps getting bigger and better. The couple worked tirelessly this year to make sure every child in attendance received a Christmas gift package of toys, treats, and clothing to celebrate the season.
“I see joy in the eyes of the kids when they receive their gifts. The kids also enjoy themselves at the party, where we give back to those who are less fortunate, said Brian, a retired Transit worker, and current New York-based soccer referee, who, with his wife, ships barrels of goodies from the United States to Guyana to make sure a good time is had by all.
“It is heartwarming to bring happiness, joy, and satisfaction to the kids,” added Brian, who noted, for the first time, the children played games like 1-2-3 Red Light, and competed in a bubble gum and spoon race, that Pauline Clarke said she invented to showcase the competitive spirit of the kids.
“It is always a joy and a pleasure for me and my family to bring toys, laughter, and joy to the children of Lodge Village, and every years, it gets bigger,” said Pauline, who, along with her husband, wore Santa Claus hats and matching red outfits to delight the children and their families.
“God smiled down on us and gave us a beautiful day,” said Pauline, in reference to the incessant seasonal rainfall that has drenched Georgetown for the last few weeks.
The couple said they look forward to many more years of giving back to the village kids.