Volunteers ready to build holiday cheer in Clearwater
Construction of the 30th Annual Winter Wonderland will begin on Saturday, November 4th with its grand opening slated for Saturday, December 2nd. Running through to Saturday, December 23rd hundreds of volunteers from the Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV) will help construct, decorate and facilitate the event.
“The true spirit of the holidays is family and giving and enjoying the wonderful things of the season. When people come to Winter Wonderland, they see that,” said Pam Ryan Anderson, the Chairwoman of the CCV and overall organizer and producer of Winter Wonderland. “But in addition to creating life-long memories, Winter Wonderland collects food and toys for families in need.”
Ms. Ryan Anderson points to statistics in Pinellas County, “Nearly one out of every six children in Pinellas County has food insecurity and are living in poverty. If the parents can’t buy food, they can’t afford presents. It breaks my heart if I think of one kid not having a present on Christmas morning. Through Winter Wonderland, we can provide an experience that everyone can enjoy, while also providing food and toys for families in need.”
“The Clearwater Community Volunteers could not bring Christmas to these families without the dedicated volunteers who bring this holiday village to life every year.”
Winter Wonderland activities include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, snow, entertainment, a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses, a kiddie train, a kiddie carousel and a playground. There is a small cost for some of the attractions, however admission is free.
Visitors are encouraged to donate non-perishable food and new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to families in need before Christmas. Over the past 29 years, Winter Wonderland has welcomed more than a quarter of a million visitors and collected tons of food and toys.
The CCV welcomes volunteers of all faiths to participate in Winter Wonderland. If you would like to volunteer for Winter Wonderland, please go to https://clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org/volunteer/.