The Longbranch Improvement Club sponsored a new event in December at the LIC clubhouse, “Kids and Christmas in Longbranch.”

The event was a great success and has organizer Linda LeBlanc enthusiastically making plans for a larger event next year.

LeBlanc said, “We had five Girl Scout troops manning arts and crafts tables so that the children of the peninsula could make presents for their family members. Samantha Wolf, Amanda Melbourne, Ashley Baillie, Alvin Cheney, Kari Cain, and Cali Shirley, all volunteers from Peninsula High School, served as Santa’s helpers handing out gifts to each child and helping to wrap handmade treasures.”

More than 150 children sat on Santa’s lap to divulge their wishes for Christmas morning. They were presented a gift and a framed photo of the magic moment.

“I had a vision of this great historical building echoing with the sounds of children laughing and being filled with holiday warmth and spirit,” LeBlanc said. “I could not have asked for a better outcome for our first time.”

The kitchen overflowed with cookies, cupcakes, hot cider, and cocoa. All the coats, hats and blankets collected over the last month were contributed to families who needed them and greatly appreciated. As children left, Rebecca Wolf, a sixth-grade volunteer from Key Peninsula Middle School, presented each one a new book, donated by the LIC.

LeBlanc said, “It would not have been possible without all the hard working volunteers, Toys for Tots, private donations from LIC members and community members, local businesses, and schools. Thank you.”

Editor’s note: Ashley Baillie’s last name was spelled incorrectly in the print edition. We apologize for the error.