by Sharon Pruhs
The children were given bags to keep the special treats contained throughout the day. They were kept busy filling the bags with many items, including water tattoos courtesy of Michelle Hindman along with activity books. Of course they took with them their own handmade Santa hats, Christmas stockings, cookies and cupcakes. Storytime with Kathy is always a special few minutes for the children.
This year Kathy read Christmas Soup to the children. This book, beautifully illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist, was written by Alice Faye Duncan and Phyllis Dooley. Kathy is the International Ambassador for 9-1-1 for kids and works with Bill Lovelace, the official DJ of 9-1-1 for Kids. Bill championed a sing-a-long which is always an over the top participatory event. He and all the singing children were assisted by the North Orange Christian Church Youth Band. CHP, police, firefighters and sheriffs from Orange Co., Los Angeles Co., and Riverside County helped add even more excitement for the children. Their participation included reinforcement of disaster and emergency preparedness and they helped to present the 9-1-1 curriculum. Abby and Gabby, cell phone characters, were in attendance to help the safety officers teach children how to dial 911 on a cell phone. Also in attendance were CHPs Chipper, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog and Sparky the Fire Dog. In the afternoon the Anaheim Police Dept presented their K-9 unit and gave a performance. Chef Andre Carthen of ACafe and Nutrisystem added his expertise to the day.
Christine Devine from Fox News read The Night Before Christmas which is as necessary to the event as having both Santa and Mrs. Claus attend the day’s activities. Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrived in time to personally present a gift to each child.