Each child in attendance got a chance to meet Santa Claus (Mel Pinkham, a successful businessman, former child entertainer and local legend) and receive a gift. Each resident household member received a raffle ticket and was eligible for gifts and prizes.
Hundreds of toys were donated to the event by the Las Brisas community, the American University of Health Sciences and Knights of Pythias Youth Camp, according to Imani Bradley-Camacho, services coordinator for the Las Brisas community housing.
The event also included music, arts and crafts presentations, and a holiday feast.
“This is an important thing for [the center] to bond the community together and teach the children that there’s a better part of life,” said Pinkham, a member of the Long Beach-Lakewood Knights of Pythias, a charitable organization that promotes “friendship, charity and benevolence.”