By Kelly Roche
Torn wrapping paper littered the floor, serving as evidence of a good time.
More than 500 Toronto kids received a dose of Christmas cheer alongside a visit from Santa at the 15th annual Advocates for Etobicoke Youth (AFEY) Children’s Christmas Party in Rexdale on Dec. 7.
The party was held at Woodbine Banquet Hall for kids, ages three to 12, and their parents from the North Etobicoke area. Volunteers and sponsors ensured the event was executed flawlessly.
Even the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors mascot, The Raptor popped in for some holiday fun, while a steel pan band had everyone jammin’ to festive tunes.
The buffet-style meal included fries, chicken fingers, pasta, hot dogs, fruit, brownies, and chocolate milk — all the kids’ favourites. There were stations set up for face-painting, balloons, and photos with Santa (photos were printed on the spot).
Dhaman Kissoon co-founded the initiative and co-chairs the event in partnership with Toronto Police’s 23 Division, with support from local businesses and professionals.
Many children left the banquet hall on big yellow school buses — but not before getting a chance to go home with a bonus gift from the surplus of toys.