Vacationing Santa delivers cheer through the Children’s Network of SWFL
When Santa Claus needs a break from the icy chill of the North Pole, he trades in his sleigh and reindeer for a hammock and some plastic flamingoes in sunny Southwest Florida. In addition to working on his tan on Saturday, July 23, he paid a special visit to the foster families of the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida for the Holidays in July celebration, presented by the Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) at the Imaginarium Science Center.
About 40 foster kids enjoyed the visit from Santa, which was coordinated by the big jolly man’s local attorney, Spencer Cordell. Along with presents, the families indulged in holiday treats, songs, games and plenty of fun. It was the first time the children had seen Santa in flip flops and Bermuda shorts. Every year, the YLD successfully applies for a grant from The Florida Bar to fund its Holidays event, which was moved from January to July beginning in 2016.
Lee County Bar Association President Scott Atwood said, “These foster families tend to receive a little extra attention during the winter holidays. The YLD decided it is important to provide a celebration and morale booster during the summer months, too. We’re proud of our YLD and the difference they make for children in the community.”
YLD President Thomas G. Coleman said, “Although this was the first time that our ‘Holidays’ event took place during the summer, Holidays in July ended up being a massive success. It was wonderful to see the smiles and laughter spread across the room as the children opened gift after gift from Santa. I am very grateful to the members of the LCBA who donated and took time to volunteer, ensuring that the event would be successful and have a positive impact on our community.”
Holidays in July is not the only event the YLD presents for foster kids through the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida. This year the group has introduced the“Tryathlon,” a three-part event scheduled throughout the year to encourage youngsters to try fun new activities. In the first and second quarters of 2016, the children and their foster families were treated to bowling and miniature golf. They are now looking forward to a fishing tournament at Bass Pro Shops Lagoon on August 13. The YLD’s Tryathlon was awarded by The Florida Bar for being the Most Creative Presentation during its local YLD affiliate project grant funding process.
In addition to Coleman, the YLD officers are Vice President Kayla E. Richmond, Secretary Candice L. Michael, Treasurer Kristalyn J. Loson, Social Chair Blake Hampton and Recruitment Chair Joel Hyatt. Spencer Cordell is a past president of the YLD, and a current board member of the Lee County Bar Association.
About the Lee County Bar Association
The Lee County Bar Association, a 501c6 not-for-profit organization, has served the citizens and legal community of Lee County since 1949 and has a current membership of almost 800. For more information, visit www.leebar.org or contact President Scott Atwood, Esquire at (239) 898-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Executive Director David Seitz at (239) 334-0047.