Serving the community since 1970

'Tis the season

Wasco Toys for Tigers held its annual "Christmas Tree Spectacular Family Fun Night" last Monday. It was a festive occasion ringing in the holiday season.

The event was jam-packed, with kids and adults enjoying activities, treats and beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local organizations such as the Orange Heart Foundation, Wasco Recreation and Parks District, Union Bank and Wasco VFW.

There were carnival-style games, crafts, hot cocoa, cookies, face painting, building a snowman out of ice cream, letters to Santa and pictures with him and Mrs. Claus.

Cristina Pena brought her five children.

"My kids were excited to see Santa. They had a lot of fun decorating cookies. This event got us all in the Christmas Spirit," she said.

Karissa Hinojosa came with her daughter and husband.

"I think it was awesome. I didn't expect it to be so grand. It's been a nice time," Hinojosa shared. "Getting a letter back from Santa adds a special touch."

The kids who wrote letters to Santa can expect a letter back from him.

Hinojosa added, "The best part was seeing the kids so happy. It's a good start to the Christmas season and gets everyone ready for the holiday."

Debbie Parten comes every year.

"Candy Wilson (a Toys for Tigers board member) does a good job organizing. I brought my five grandchildren and son. There were fun activities for the kids and, of course, Santa. The food and cookies were delicious."

Erica Marin said it was an outstanding turnout.

"There were lots of kids. It's good for the community, with everyone coming together to do something positive. It's something free for the kids."

Leslie Ramirez, 11, said, "I think today was a peaceful night. I liked taking a picture with Santa and the pine tree and cookie decorating."

Christopher Lewis was impressed with how well it was organized.

"It was my first year. I brought my two kids and my fiance. It's a good family event with people coming together," Lewis stated.

Jose Guerra said, "It was definitely worth our while to come. I liked everything about the event."

There were many volunteers.

Laura Boren said she volunteered because Toys for Tigers is an amazing cause.

"Toys for Tigers help the people that need it and makes it a merry Christmas because some kids don't get a present, and that's sad," Boren said.

Another volunteer, Gabriel Gonzalez, shared, "I do it to help the kids be happy and get them out of the house for Christmas."

Karen Holtermann decorated a Christmas tree in a Mickey Mouse theme. She admired all of the other decorated Christmas trees.

"The trees are beautiful."

Wasco Bengals football and cheer also participated with a dinner for guests to raise money for their organization.

Area representative Gonzalo Cruz said their sales went well.

"We sold out," Cruz added. "My favorite part was serving the community and watching all of the kids come out to this wonderful event."

He believes it was a great partnership with Toys for Tigers. "We are two organizations with the same view of helping our youth," he said

Pat Ketcherside, Toys for Tigers board treasurer, said the event was special because so many people attended. "This year, we didn't charge," she explained.

She added that there was a lot of support from the community and many volunteers.


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