By TOM GODFREY
Some lucky kids couldn’t sleep and were counting the minutes to meet Santa Claus and receive presents from him for being good at the annual Trinidad & Tobago Association of Ontario’s children Christmas party last weekend.
More than 60 kids – some from at risk communities – joined the Jolly Old Man at the Etobicoke Civic Centre last Saturday – despite the snow storm – to have fun playing games, taking part in sing-alongs and eating pizza. The kids’ bash has been sponsored by the TTAO for about 20 years.
“It is a great event and all the kids have smiles on their faces and they leave here with a present each,” said a busy Horace Thorne, TTAO’s president. “This is one of the many things that we do in the community.”
Thorne said the TTAO has reached out to disadvantaged kids in the Jane and Finch area and Scarborough. Several dozen children playing in the room came from high-risk areas.
“We are extremely happy that all the children had a good time,” Thorne said. “We look forward to working with other groups including needy kids in the Peel Region.”
Chris Jong, of Urban Promise Toronto, a Christian based group that works with youth in the Jane-Finch area, said his group brought about 20 children to the party.
“It is nice for them to get out of the neighbourhood and visit another community,” Jong said. “An activity like this lets them be kids and they can run around and meet other children.”
Howard Moriah, of the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough, said the party allows children from other areas of Toronto to connect with each other.
“This is a great event for the children,” Moriah said. “They share the same music and can play games and have a good time.”
Once again, this year, community booster, Brian Mathieu, footed the bills for more than 75 presents for the children.
“I do this for the satisfaction of doing it,” said Mathieu, who has picked up the tab for the presents for seven years. “I am from Trinidad and I want to help others.”
And party goer Brianna, 9, said she had a great time and it was all worth it.
“I am glad I came because I met some nice friends and Santa Claus,” Brianna said. “We all had a great time.”