More than 400 kids came from all over Grand Cayman for the Lions Club All-Island Christmas Party at the Lions Centre on Sunday 15 December. That meant more than 25 Lions gave up their Sunday, and lots of other volunteers too who joined in to make some Christmas magic come true for Cayman’s kids.
As soon as the children – everyone from toddlers up – saw the balloons being given at the entrance out on bright red strings they knew they had come to a real live kids’ Christmas heaven. Inside, there were literally hundreds of kids playing, and over at the side, not just one, but three big beautiful bouncy castles. There were free pizzas, Christmas cake and sandwiches and some good healthy slices of fruit, too for the kids (but also for the moms and dads if they needed a bit of refreshment, too) There were lovely necklaces being given out and there were Lions everywhere; some dressed in the bright yellow Lions jackets, but others dressed as Christmas elves and Santa’s helpers. Some of the kids joined Lions up onstage where they were read a story about Christmas.
Some of the kids played together with Lego and building blocks, and there was a special Christmas slime station, too. There’s nothing kids like better than lovely coloured slime. Don’t ask me why. Then there were huge lollipops that didn’t seem to get any smaller no matter how long they were licked. Finally, there was the moment everyone had waited for – Santa Time! The children formed a long line around the outside of the hall as Santa and his helpers, who included Miss Teen Ashley Gooden. It takes a lot of organising to make sure each child out of several hundred gets a nice present, just right for their age, and so that nobody feels too rushed for their magic moment with Santa, but they managed it; and everyone got a photo with Santa too.
When it was time to go home, all the children knew something magical had happened. The Lions Club always works very hard to make Christmas time special for all of Caymans kids, and this was just one special party out of many. Cordella Chollette President of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman, said: “I think it’s important at this time of year to pass on some Christmas joy and Christmas Cheer and see the smiles on the kids faces when they see Santa. We have an annual street collection to raise funds for the gifts. This year, too, we raised just over three thousand dollars and over 100 toys at the Grand Auto show.
Lions’ Christmas Project Chairperson, Heidi Anderson said: “The Christmas Project is the most beautiful project we have in the club, and it has been a Lions Club project since 1972, and was begun by John Ebanks. Besides raising the funds throughout and now the November, and December too, we have been getting donations of new and used toys that we gather all around the Island. Through the funds that are donated we order more gifts, because in total we are providing gifts for about 700 kids.”