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St. Patrick's- St Anthony's & JPC Christmas Tradition Still Providing 'Rewards' to the Community

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

UTICA, Dec. 6, 2013 – Shawn Sommons received Hot Wheels, Tatyana Boyd got a nail styling kit, Serenity Brown got a carriage for her baby doll.

What they and the other 37 children at Johnson Park Center (JPC) & St. Patrick's-St. Anthony's of Chadwicks Christmas Celebration got was the joy every child gets before opening a Christmas present.

"Watching their faces is rewarding," Rev. Ursula Meier, JPC's chief operations officer said, "Watching the joy others get from serving them is rewarding as well. The most rewarding thing though, is seeing so many children and so many people come together, right here in Johnson Park-Cornhill, and celebrate as a community family."

The Chadwicks Parish donated Christmas presents to the youth who opened their presents at a party hosted by JPC. The presents were provided by students due to make their confirmation at St. Patrick's - St. Anthony's Parish, Chadwicks, NY. Each conformation student was assigned a child ahead of time and then sat next to that child as they opened gifts. The recipients were children that attend JPC's Youth Drop-In Enrichment Center, whom are almost all poor and in need of whatever they may have gotten. At the party, they all showed their gratitude.

"I just think it's awesome they give us these presents," Vyshaun Watkins, 9, of Utica said. "We're the lucky ones."

The party featured a holiday meal, Christmas carols, a reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and other activities, crafts and contests themed to celebrate the holiday season.

"It's a spirit of celebration, a spirit of togetherness and a spirit of family," JPC CEO and Founder Rev. Dr. Maria A. Scates said. "We're just blessed to have great partners like St Patrick's-St. Anthony's Parish Chadwicks and to have the trust and relationships we do with the children of our community."

This News Article was written by Mr. Marques Phillips, JPC Public Relations/Media Coordinator