‘Camp Holiday Cheer’ makes holiday season special for Devereux Florida foster families
More than 300 Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida foster parents and children experienced the magic of the season during an evening of holiday festivities and campfire fun.
Devereux Florida and Central Florida Lifestyle Publications teamed up to host “Camp Holiday Cheer” in early December at Camp Ithiel in Orange County. The camp and retreat center just outside of Orlando, Fla., was transformed into a winter wonderland for families to enjoy.
Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, donors and volunteers, Devereux Florida’s foster parents and children – many of whom have never experienced joyous holiday celebrations or received gifts from loved ones – made memories to last a lifetime.
Making holiday wishes come true
Games and entertainment at Camp Holiday Cheer included an obstacle course bounce house, a life-size Lite-Brite art toy and a glow party tent. A cookie decorating station and a campfire with a fully equipped s’mores-making station also were set up.
Children had the chance to climb aboard and explore an Orange County Fire Rescue fire truck, while wearing their very own plastic helmets provided by the fire rescue team. For those wanting a safe, up-close encounter with a small alligator, Gatorland Orlando was on hand. Carolers, dancers and a visit from Santa Claus made the evening even more special for families.
“The kids had a ball! No one realizes the time, effort and teamwork an event like this entails. Between the gator, the making of s’mores, the games, Santa and the yummy food – everything was perfect,” said Devereux foster parents Joan and Roger. “The dancers also had the girls and boys mesmerized with all of them wanting to take up dance now.”
Spreading holiday cheer
“Camp Holiday Cheer was a huge success! I want to thank all of our supporters for helping to make it a magical and memorable evening for our foster families,” said Devereux Florida Manager of External Affairs Lindsey Phillips. “Every child deserves to experience the wonder of the season. Unfortunately, many of the children we serve never have. For them, the holidays can be a painful time, as they are reminded of the family they have temporarily, or in some cases permanently, lost. This event enabled us to brighten the holidays for those in need and help make their wishes come true.”
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