Press release from Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation:
Mayor Henry supports Operation Stocking Stuffer efforts brighten the holiday season for children
Mayor Tom Henry, Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll and the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Task Force made the holiday season a little brighter for approximately 200 children today during the Operation Stocking Stuffer holiday celebration at Weisser Youth Center.
The Park Department’s Employee Task Force once again headed up the collection, determined to provide gifts to even more children than when they launched the annual event in 2009. Last year, 140 children decorated stockings, not realizing that the stockings would be stuffed with gifts when they picked them up at the holiday celebration.
“Most of the children returned this year and brought all their friends with them, so we didn’t expect to have the same level of surprise as we did last year,” said Director Moll. “But the intensity of excitement in the room was even greater. The kids were thrilled. Our Neighborhood Program staff worked hard to make this celebration special.”
After sending out a plea for donations to city employees and local businesses, the Task Force received enough cash and items to fill the stockings to the brim with presents such as beanie babies, Rubiks cubes, art supplies, zoo and pool passes, as well as more essential items like chapstick, hand sanitizer, hats, gloves and microwavable foods. Six bicycles were also handed out in a drawing.
“These efforts are providing a glimmer of hope, bringing joy and a smile to these children,” said Mayor Henry. “All the City employees and businesses who donated to this wonderful cause should be proud. Today was extra special for these children, thanks to you.”