Tuesday December 23, 2014
Saturday, December 12, Community Bible Church was transformed into a child’s fantasy Christmas party. This free day of fun and surprises was sponsored by the Pomerleau Family, Community Bible Church (CBC) and a number of anonymous donors. This is the third year of celebrating Jay’s Christmas Party as a community outreach here in South Burlington. So many children wanted to attend this year that the event was expanded to provide both a morning and afternoon opportunity to visit with Santa and have a very memorable experience. In a conversation that was overheard between a parent and child, the child was reassuring the parent that they had just met the “real” Santa.
The event originated as a way to honor Jeanette Lefebvre (Jay) who loved Christmas and had worked for the Pomerleau family for 45 years. Jay’s daughters and the Pomerleau family came up with the idea and Community Bible Church brought that idea into reality. One of Jay’s daughters, Robin Danaher is the visionary of the event; she is a member of Community Bible Church and is the special events coordinator for the church.
The scene, a winter wonderland, with games, balloons, professional face painting, singing puppets, crafts, some favorite characters-like Buddy, Olaf, Elsa, Anna, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Tigger, Pooh and Frosty, and of course the jolly man himself, Santa, along with Mrs. Claus. Many, many incredible pictures of children with Santa or their favorite character were taken as keepsakes. Each child could jump up on Santa’s lap, receive a gift from Santa’s elves, have their face painted or play games, and leave the party with a gift, candy, balloons, and homemade cookies. Another special feature was a live Nativity scene with a real baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, wise men and the angels.
An event like this doesn’t happen without many volunteers and donations. Over 100 members of CBC, both young and older, helped staff this party and the church contributed gifts, candy and thousands of homemade sugar cookies. Giveaway contributions came from local businesses: 5 guys, Papa Franks, Quizno’s (lunch for the volunteers), Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, and several church members.
Christmas is a time for giving and what a wonderful way to give to our community by sponsoring this memorable children’s party. Each member of CBC was blessed to be able to share the real meaning of Christmas with the 550 children and their families that attended the event. And, even as the games and decorations are being put away, thoughts are already turning to next year and Jay’s Christmas Party for Kids 2015.