Celebrate the spirit of Christmas at the 19th annual Angel Tree Christmas Party

Ashley Linn and her children Noah and Angelina from Murrieta display their gifts at the 19th annual Angel Tree Christmas Party hosted by Community Outreach Ministry in Wildomar. Valley News photo/Courtesy of Community Outreach Ministry

WILDOMAR – The 19th annual Angel Tree Christmas party hosted by Dr. Mona and Bob Davies of Community Outreach Ministry was a royal celebration, in partnership with Angel Tree, a program of Prison Fellowship. The party was held Dec. 8, at Elks Lodge Post 2591 in Wildomar. The incarcerated parents signed up their children to ensure their children celebrate the spirit of Christmas in a joyful atmosphere with Christmas festivities.

The annual event began with a patriotic performance by The Temecula Valley Young Marines who posted the colors, followed by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the national anthem.

Firefighter Kevin Ferris with a team of firefighters gave the children a tour of the U.S. Department of Forestry fire truck from Murrieta and Smokey Bear was there to greet the children and their families.

Johnna Hose with Smokey Bear said, “Rain or shine, I never miss it! This will be my ninth year with Angel Tree, and I love every minute.”

California Highway Patrol officer Anthony Florez of Temecula was assisted by CHP Explorers. Together they educated party goers about safety and how youth at age 15 can enter the Explorer program. Children learned safety tips such as the importance of wearing helmets while riding their bicycles and always wearing seat belts when traveling in vehicles.

The Vista Community Clinic of Lake Elsinore brought its state-of-the-art mobile dental clinic for the children and family members to receive free dental assessments. At her booth, Debbie Cortez of Purses from Heaven from Lake Elsinore stuffed purses with Bibles and toiletry gifts that were given to the caregivers at the event. Clarissa Fears of Elsinore High School in Wildomar and her team painted the children’s faces.

Lunch was catered by New Life Culinary Creations and served by Denise Ronzello, Wells Fargo and TVYM. Jonay Cordeiro of Coast to Coast Enterprise LLC in Menifee donated 200 decorated Christmas cupcakes. Enchanting Christmas carols were sung by the Mountain View Church Children’s Choir of Wildomar. The singers, who ranged in age from four to 12 sang “Christmas is a Time to Love,” “Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Silent Night.” The Lake Elsinore Neal Brothers Jacori and Jaelin and little sister Jaden Cook sang “O Holy Night” “Winter Wonderland” and “Hallelujah.”

Caring gift sponsors included: Menifee Rotary Club, Nike Factory Store-Lake Elsinore, Denise Ronzello and gals from Shear Expressions Salon of Murrieta, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, Southland Arthritis Rheumatology-Menifee; Massage Envy-Murrieta, Wildomar and Menifee, Wellness and More-Murrieta. Additional gift sponsors included Dr. Jeff Prais Dental Office-Murrieta, Yolanda Burgess Bookkeeping-Murrieta, Coast to Coast Enterprise LLC-Menifee and Wells Fargo’s Dina Attia, district manager of Inland Crossroads District.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to participate with Community Outreach Ministry’s mission. This is my go to during this season,” Attia said.

Of the 154 children adopted, 51% were girls and 49% were boys. Fifteen percent of the children were within the zero to four year age range, 44% were between five to 10 years in age, 21% of the little party goers were 11 to 13 and 20% of the youth were between 14 and 18. The children’s ethnicities were Hispanic at 49%, Caucasian at 36% and African American 15%. The children were from the following cities: Wildomar, 25%; Murrieta, 24%; Lake Elsinore, 22% and other, 29%.

Community Outreach Ministry thanked the Elks Lodge for the use of their banquet hall, Janice Hare of Mt View Church for obtaining the children’s wish lists, Johnna Hose of Destinations Explored by Dream Vacations of Murrieta for writing the Angel Tree tags, Marcella Martinez of Wildomar for wrapping gifts, Ankoma Hose and TVYM for distributing gifts.

Submitted by Community Outreach Ministry.