Organizers have described as “a huge success” Sunday’s annual Christmas Party for Vincentian kids at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center on Logan Street in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Despite the inclement weather, more than 200 kids received gifts and other treats at the event, organized annually by the Brooklyn shipping company, Standard Shippers, owned by Gideon “Fessy” Yorke, and friends.
Vincentian community worker Atiba Williams, who has been coordinating the event for the last eight years, told Caribbean Life that the kids/toddlers, whose ages ranged from a few months to 12 years, also received gifts from Santa Claus, played by another Vincentian community worker, Garnes Byron.
“I get overwhelmed when I see the joy on the kids’ faces at the event,” he said, stating that the kids were treated to arts and crafts, games, snacks and refreshments.
“A lot of kids came out with their parents and guardians, which we were grateful for,” he added. “The event was a huge success. The joy and the smile on the kids’ faces were worth the sacrifice.
“It makes you know that all the hard work we put into it was worth it,” Williams continued. “As long as the Most High gives me health and strength, I will continue to be a part of this event every year.
“We will look for ways and ideas to make every year a success,” he said. “I am just glad I can play a role in spreading the Christmas joy to the kids in our community.”
Byron, who has been performing the role of Santa Claus for the past five years, said he was delighted to be part of the celebration.
“It gives me great pleasure to see the smile on the kids’ faces, when I enter the room and the way they react and interact with Santa,” he said. “Most see Santa as their hero.
“I will continue entertaining the kids as Santa until I no longer can,” he assured.
Williams said organizers presented “a special plaque” to Vincentian community worker Tammy Kirby for her “commitment and dedication to the children in our community.”
Williams also thanked a number of participating organizations and individuals for contributing to the event’s success, including management and staff of Standard Shippers; Vaughn Toney, president and chief executive officer of Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center; Vincy Liberators; St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York, Inc; Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO); and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York.
Others he complimented were: Club St. Vincent; Vincy Cares; Mas Productions Unlimited; Earl Tibbles; Kelvin Billinghurst; Shernz Kitchen; DJ Supa Eyes; Michelle Findlay; K Promotions; Roxanne Chambers; Attorney Colin Liverpool; Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines GIPSVG); Sheffield Crew; Friends of Sion Hill; Black Shuga Grafix; Gary Phillips; Zacky; Byron; and Trinbago Express Shipping.