Yes, Lodi, there is a Santa Claus.
Santa may not have a red suit and a fat belly, and he certainly does not have a sleigh and reindeer. Santa comes in all different sizes, ages and shapes and answers to George and Marilyn and Susan and Dennis.
You see, Santa is you and other good people in Lodi. Santa beat the Grinch 1188 to 0. Even in these terrible economic times, people stepped up and gave money and adopted kids. Every kid who asked for a bicycle got one, and if a child wanted a skateboard, he got one.
With the generous support of the community and use of some reserve funds, we were able to make each child's wish come true. The only way that happened was because you, the public, got behind us and said, "Grinch, go home." I really stand in awe of the community. It is a bit humbling to have someone give you a $500 check and say take care of the kids.
Much of the credit of our success rests on the shoulders of our board of directors, the many people who wrapped gifts, delivered bicycles, and especially three volunteers, Angie and Jesus Valdivinos and Dyanne Jones, who devoted hours and hours to this Christmas effort. They may be embarrassed by my mentioning them by name, but they deserve the accolades.
The rest of the credit goes to the public, who generously provided the resources to make this event successful. A fine "thank you" to Children's Dream Works, who came through at the last minute with some much-needed help. Thank you, Mike and Kelly.
Happy New Year and God's blessing on all of you.
Lodi Adopt A Child