The Riverside Police Department, with its Community Services Bureau, hosted a holiday community outreach event at Sears’ department store parking lot Saturday.
The event also provided health and safety messages and a positive community experience, according to department officials.
“We’re hoping to supplement Christmas for children who are not likely to have such a great Christmas,” said Riverside police Community Services Bureau spokeswoman, Karen Haverkamp.
The four-hour event started with an early lineup waiting for Santa’s arrival, which was provided by RPD’s Air One helicopter.
Several hundred attended, most with children waiting for the jolly fellow to land for the photo opportunities as well as the donated gifts for each child in attendance.
Toys were donated by Stater Bros., Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Joe’s Sushi, and Stylin-Nook hair salon. More than 500-gifts were wrapped and ready for those who waited during the misty rain and the wind gusts.
Members of the newly inaugurated “Volunteer Mounted Posse Units” were a crowd favorite, especially for several children who said they had never before touched a horse.
A CHP information booth was also there and free health screenings were provided by Champions for Change.
Photos by Rich Linton
Saturday, December 17, 2011
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