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Local Organizations give kids in need a Very Merry Christmas

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County (BGCLC) is so thankful to a few AMAZING local organizations who adopted a club to give them a wonder Christmas party. These organizations include FineMark National Bank & Trust, LandRover/Jaguar Fort Myers, Ocean Church and Target.  Every child filled out a Christmas wish list and those items along with their name and age were put on a gift tag and given to the organization that adopted the club. On the designated party day, the companies hosted a Christmas party with fun activities, wrapped gifts for each child, and more.

FineMark National Bank & Trust adopted our Pueblo Bonito club in Bonita Springs. Harlan Parrish, Executive Vice President, Lee County and a number of his staff members handed each child a gift on their wish list as well as participated in fun activities and even a snowball fight inside. Afterwards, they surprised each child with a $50 bill to purchase presents for themselves or their families. The kids were ecstatic! When asked, most of the kids stated they were going to use the money to purchase gifts for their parents and siblings to help their family. It was heartwarming to see how they wanted to pass on the happiness to their loved ones.

LandRover/Jaguar Fort Myers, invited the members of our Suncoast club in North Fort Myers, to his state of the art dealership on Tamiami Trail. The kids were treated to homemade gelato and other sweets as well as a chance to speak and take photos with Santa visiting from the North Pole. After handing out the gifts with Santa, General Manager, Brian Del Negro presented the club with a check for $2,500 to purchase needed materials for the club. The kids were overjoyed. In fact, when they opened their gifts, many children were screaming out, “This is what I wanted!” One little 6 year old girl went around to a number of the staff members and thanked them for her gift. It was so sweet to see how grateful the kids were.

Target stores across Lee County adopted our club in Renaissance Preserve. Santa and his elves were also in attendance to help pass out the gifts. The kids were shocked when Santa walked in the door and they couldn’t wait to meet him in person. After opening their gifts, they went up to Santa and thanked him personally for remembering them at Christmas time.

Ocean Church adopted our club in Lehigh Acres. Members of the church came together to support our kids and made it a PARTY! They brought games, music, food, and 2 bounce houses for the kids to enjoy! Each child was surprised with a gift from their list. These amazing volunteers made our kids’ Christmas holiday special.

And the generosity of our community did not stop here. Additional organization donated unwrapped toys to our toy drive Sherwin Williams, DG Pavement Solutions, Hertz Corporation, SWFL Apartment Association,  Toys For Tots,  Colony Bay Club,  Planet Fitness & Portico,  donated almost 1000 toys so the BGCLC were able to host an Evening of Giving. Toys categorized by age groups, were displayed by volunteers and BGCLC staff members at the Lee County Sherriff’s department offices in Lehigh. Parents of club members were  invited to “shop for free” and pick up items that their kids would like to have under the tree. The parents we so grateful since many who have had such a difficult time these last couple of years. In fact, most likely, these gifts from all these amazing organizations are the only gifts these children will receive for Christmas.

Every participating business said they can’t wait to do it again next year. They loved the experience of seeing how they were impacting the lives of children in our community.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County thank all of our generous donors listed above as well as our volunteers who worked at the Toy Drive and Christmas parties including Gary Poos, our board members, staff members of Hertz Corporation and the members of the Spirit of the Gulf Chorus.

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