The annual Holiday Event at the DWA was early this year – Monday, December 2nd. Having just finished Thanksgiving, we were reminded that we should each count our blessings and make the holiday season a time for helping those less fortunate. For the seventh consecutive year, DWA employees opted to replace their typical holiday party with an event to be shared with 53 children that are the responsibility of Child Protective Services. Although each child is hoping and waiting to be adopted into a long-term permanent home, a few hours full of good food, fun, dancing, gift-receiving and touring a facility full of beautiful plants and exciting animals helps set the tone for the holiday season. Joining the DWA staff were the children, their current foster parent(s) and CPS workers. A party is always more enjoyable if a delicious meal is first provided.
Our good friends at WFAA Channel 8 again shared their time with us. After filming a segment for the weekly Wednesday’s Child, Cynthia Izaguirre, co-anchor of News 8 Daybreak, enthusiastically involved the children in a warm, rousing welcome for the arrival of the couple of the day – Santa and Mrs. Claus. They too were returnees and right on cue, knew what they were supposed to contribute – the distribution of the gifts and goodies to all the children! Amazing how each gift was something personal that each child had requested. After opening the presents and enjoying them for a few minutes – it was time for our all-time favorite DJ to work his magic! Bryan Prescott, with Borrowed Time Productions, has donated his time for years to ensure that the full gamut of holiday music is available and enjoyed by all! His ability to involve even some of the more scrooge-like adults, is truly a miracle and proof of his fondness for the annual event. Making their debut to entertain the children were DWA’s latest mascots – a crocodile, an aracari and a penguin. Even though this was their first DWA holiday event, they quickly got into the spirit of the afternoon and were indeed a pleasant addition to the festivities!
After the DWA staff returned to work, tours of the facility are provided for the children and their foster parent(s). The smiles and excitement of the children, ranging in age from 2 to 17 years, will be remembered by the DWA staff, long past the end of the holiday season.