The Warwick community unites to help children and their families

About 160 children attend the holiday program at the Warwick Reformed Church

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  • Photos by Roger Gavan Warwick Valley Rotarians hosted the first of two back-to-back parties.

  • The Warwick Lions Club hosted the second of two back-to-back parties.

— Another example of how the Warwick community unites to make a difference was the annual Holiday Project for Children in Need held Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Warwick Reformed Church.

Warwick Valley Rotarians, Warwick Lions Club, Chosun Taekwondo Leadership Team, Backpack Snack Attack Program and Warwick Reformed Church plus many other businesses and individuals worked together for a year to create a memorable holiday for local families in need.

Back-to-back partiesApproximately 160 children came from various programs including Backpack Snack Attack, the Mustard Seed Ministry and the Alamo.

And since a large number of guests were expected, this year's event was divided into two back-to-back parties hosted first by the Rotarians and then by the Lions.

That enabled volunteer elves to escort small groups of children to the various stations, which included games with prizes, cookie decoration, photos with Santa and a holiday meal.

A "shop" with new donated gift items, where the children choose gifts for their families and then wrap them was a big hit.

Santa also presented all the children with giant gift bags filled with clothing, shoes, underwear, sox, hats, gloves and toys chosen just for them. A ShopRite gift card was included.

How it comes togetherClaire Gabelmann coordinated the event for the Lions Club and Tina Buck was the Warwick Rotary event chair, assisted by. Marge King-Porter.

Each year members of the community sponsor the children by donating $60 per child, $100 per family or by shopping for a specific child and providing the items indicated.

Other businesses and individuals donate new gift items, wrapping paper, pizza and desserts. And still others volunteer their time.

For additional information about this or next year's event, contact Warwick Rotary at 845 987-7297 or visit or contact Warwick Lions Club at 845 986-1681 or email

- Roger Gavan

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