Santa Claus shows up at the AFEY’s Party in Etobicoke

Santa Claus got a rousing welcome when he arrived at the Woodbine Banquet Hall last Saturday for the Advocate for Etobicoke Youth’s (AFEY’s)  annual Children’s Christmas party

And Santa did not disappoint the hundreds of boys and girls who, along with parents and guardians and special guests, eagerly awaited his presence.

After a scrumptious meal for the more than 900 people in attendance, a magic show which had the children in wonderment and a face painting session, Santa handed out toys to the children.

They also received food hampers to take home and each was presented with a picture taken with Santa.

At the end, children; parents and organizers danced to many seasonal songs.

Among the special guests were Kirsty Duncan, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke North, and Vincent Crisanti, Toronto’s Deputy Mayor.

Duncan said she was “so excited” to see the look on the children’s faces when they got to see Santa. She was very thankful to the AFEY group ” for their significant contribution to the community.”

Crisanti, a regular attendee at the annual event, noted that when it was first held  13 years ago, there were about 100 children and “now it has grown to almost 500.”

Ron Taverner,  Superintendent of Toronto Police (23 Division) and one of the co chairs and founders of AFEY, said that “at this time of year we hope that no child goes without and with the help of many sponsors and lots of volunteers and the Toronto Police in 23 Division, we make this a special day for all the children.

“We have to make sure that we support our young not just at Christmas but throughout the year,” he added.
Marcia DaCosta who came to the party with her two children, five and seven years  old, said ” it was great to come out to an event which was all about the kids.”
Donatta Colitree Ballis, one of the members of the AFEY Board, noted that the event was put on by AFEY in partnership with several organizations such as the Albion Neighourhood Services, and the Toronto Police 23 Division .

” We have been fortunate to attract some corporate sponsors such as Rio Can, the TD Bank, the Armstrong Group and some others. This is a great opportunity for our young people and the police to interact in a very positive way,” she added.

Toronto lawyer, Dhaman Kissoon, who is also one of the of the founders and a co-chair of AFEY, was lavish in his praise for all the supporters. He made special mention of the Woodbine Banquet hall and the members of Rotary Club of Brampton Flower City.

“When the community works together for a common purpose it can move mountains. This grand party was evidence of the community working together for a common purpose,”  he remarked