OPA-LOCKA – As Commissioner Timothy Holmes played Santa, he revealed that the chance of winning one of the 100 bicycles he promised to raffle to residents had increased to 150 bikes during the Annual Bicycle Giveaway sponsored by Mayor Myra Taylor, the City Commission and its business community.
Joining Commissioner Holmes at the event in the Court Yard of Historic City Hall this year, and in soliciting support for the bicycle giveaway, was the newest member of the dais, Commissioner Luis B. Santiago. They noted that “Over $9,000 in combined contributions came by way of the business owners.”
MOMENT OF SILENCE
Prior to the start of the bike giveaway, Commissioner Holmes requested that the crowd of excited parents and children pause to give a moment of silence for the families of the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn., who he commented, “…had their holidays altered, and the rest of their lives changed.” Holmes remarked that “Our hearts go out to them, as we count our blessings today.”
Holmes was assisted in the Dec. 22 benefit by staff from various city departments as well as community volunteers. Expediting the traffic flow was Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, while Mayor Taylor and Vice Mayor Joseph Kelley assisted with ticket collection and bike distribution.
Although an additional 50 bicycles were added to the raffle, due to overwhelming demand some non-bike winners remained. But the Grinch did not steal their Christmas. By week’s end, more than $3,000 in supplemental of cash gift cards, along with other toys, were collected and distributed.
Before that, new toy cars and trucks, dolls, games, a bubble gum machine and electronic equipment had been among the 500 gifts distributed to Opa-locka children ages 3-13 at the 11th annual Holiday in the Village: Winter Wonderland Toy Give-Away hosted and sponsored by the mayor and commission in partnership with the Parks and Recreations Department, at Sherbondy Village.
All city of Opa-locka family members were invited to enjoy the music, activities, food and other forms of excitement and entertainment. Parents had the opportunity to take part in a raffle whose winners walked away with a wall clock, sandwich maker, dishes, cups, pot and knife sets, cash cards and other prizes.
Meanwhile, in another sign of this year’s holiday spirit in South Florida, Miami Heat star Chris Bosh and his Team Tomorrow charity foundation celebrated the holiday season with 150 Miami area youth at the third annual “Christmas with Chris Bosh.”
With support from Miami-based Burger King Worldwide, the children were invited from Chapman Partnership Homeless Shelter, Big Brothers of America, After School All Stars, Voices for Children, The Boys & Girls Club of Miami, Make A Wish and Best Buddies.
The youths enjoyed games and lunch at GameTime at the Shops at Sunset Place. Upstairs, “Christmas with Chris Bosh” added “Santa Bosh’s Workshop,” a pop up store where the kids received Christmas gifts from a range of brands donated for the holidays, including Nike, Levi, Lacoste, Hasbro, Skylanders Giants, McMillian Books, Miami
Heat, Divine Delicacies, See Ya Sunglasses and The Frieze Ice Cream. Team Tomorrow Inc. was founded in 2012 by the NBA star with the goal of partnering with community-based organizations to raise awareness and support for children and families in need.