Santa Party for the kids 14th St

Posted in: Wrigley

WHAT: Santa Party for the kids in the 14th Street Park area of Long Beach, CA.

WHEN: Saturday, December 15, 2007; 11:30am
(Mayor Foster welcome comments at 11:45am; Santa arrives at noon by firetruck)

WHERE: 14 Street Park between Chestnut Ave. and Cedar Ave. (west of Pacific Ave.)

CONTACT: Jane Kelleher at 562-753-1365 ???or Dan Pressburg at 562-572-1602


14th Street Park in Long Beach, CA, at 14th Street and Pacific Ave., is a small park in an area of low-
income, multi-ethnic families who have to work very hard to survive. Almost half of the families
earn well below the poverty line. There are over 5,000 children under the age of 18 in this crime and
gang-challenged neighborhood. Better Balance for Long Beach (BBLB), a group of individuals
from all parts of the City, has worked with the neighborhood for over 3 years to help the residents
around the park clean up it up, eliminate the bad behavior there, and reclaim the park as a pleasant
place for neighborhood families and children to use. BBLB received national recognition for their
ongoing efforts from Neighborhoods USA at the NUSA national conference in 2006.

In addition to monthly picnics in the park, this will be the 3rd year BBLB has hosted a Santa Party
for the children living around 14th Street Park. Last year, Long Beach First Lady Nancy and Mayor
Bob Foster led the charge to help BBLB and the Long Beach Rescue Mission (LBRM) raise enough
money and get enough books for Santa to give a nice gift and a book to nearly 1,000 children at a big
party in 14th Street Park. This year, in addition to the LBRM, BBLB is also partnering with First
Congregational Church of Long Beach to achieve an even bigger event. Approximately 2,000
children are expected to attend, greet Santa, and receive a book and a gift. Over 100 volunteers from
throughout Long Beach serve as Santa Elves to escort each child to meet Santa and receive a book
from him. Then the elf will escort the child to the gift area where he or she may choose any one of
the beautiful gifts that have been donated by various organizations or purchased via money donated
by companies, organizations, and individuals from throughout the city of Long Beach.

The day is one of high excitement and lots of fun for the children, families, and volunteers. The
Santa Party will take place THIS Saturday, December 15, 2007, at 14th Street Park between Chestnut
Ave. and Cedar Ave. (west of Pacific Ave.) The festivities will begin at 11:30am. As he did last
year, Mayor Bob Foster is expected to welcome everyone at 11:45am. Santa?’s spectacular arrival by
fire truck will happen at noon. The gift distribution will continue through the afternoon.

It?’s a hoot! It?’s a kick! It?’s Long Beach helping a very challenged neighborhood in Long Beach.
It?’s a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate the holidays. The smiles on the children as they greet
Santa and receive their gifts are something you?’ll remember forever.

Park in the lot at 14th St. and Chestnut Ave. The fun is at 14th St. between Chestnut . and Cedar.
Annie Greenfeld

By Chris
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