Santa and Mrs. Claus made a special trip into a community of some of the most deserving of families last Friday when the word went out regarding some families just off the island. These families came together for a corporate gathering at the 6L Farms that evening. In keeping with their tradition for goodwill and compassion, the Christmas Island Style Committee swung into action to ensure it would be a special evening for them all.
Wanda Burson and Barb Dasti shopped for up to 100 recipients to ensure they would have a wonderful feast come Christmas Day, while Allison Richards busily wrapped over 50 gifts for the young children and stuff gift cards for the rest.
Condee Cooling and Electric provided large coolers to pack 100 pork roasts and another 100 special bags to package the remaining food items for their Christmas Tables. Local resident and the man with the truck—Ken Honecker—packed those coolers in the back of his pickup, while the vehicles of Wanda Burson, Barb Dasti and Janet Watson were overflowing with the gift bags and toys on Friday morning for delivery out to the farm’s office to Linda Garcia, who serves as the office manager and coordinator for the event.
That evening, the group along with Angela Palmer returned out to the farm at about 6 PM with Santa and Mrs. Claus for a surprise visit to the families. The farm had prepared the essential Santa Sled ready for “Santa Security Elf” Carmen Dasti, who drove the John-Deere tractor which pulled the sleigh full of gift bags and presents along with the guests of honor into the hall, where excited parents and children were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
“This was such a special gesture by the wonderful people of Marco Island. We weren’t expecting this beautiful example of what Christmas is all about,” said Linda Garcia with her voice cracking with emotion.
The families were all gathered in the farm facility for their annual Christmas barbeque and were just starting to have ice-cream, which was being provided to the attendees for desert when the caravan arrived to greet those assembled.
Some of the children immediately came forward to hug Santa, while others initially hid behind a parent until they felt comfortable. Soon the hugs and overwhelming love for the two surprise visitors were visible in abundance as the two North Pole visitors made their way through the crowd and took their seats to welcome families and children to have their photos taken.
Simultaneously, Linda Garcia began calling out the names of the children, and they each came forward to receive a present. Many ran forward to thank Santa and Mrs. Claus for that special present after Garcia presented it to them with beaming smiles.
“The Christmas Season is a wonderful time for us all, but a night like this truly brings home what the Spirit of Christmas should be about,” said Pat Hagedorn, a member of the Christmas Island Style Committee, who took her spot alongside Mr. Claus to welcome the children and their parents.