Centralia Corps holds “Christmas in the sun”

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Children who missed Christmas last year celebrate in August.

by Stacy Howard –

For many children in Lewis County, Wash., Christmas in 2007 came and went without much celebration. Many lost their homes, toys and sense of safety in last winter’s floods.

However, Christmas came early this year! On a recent August Saturday, over 450 children celebrated the holiday that many of them had missed. The Salvation Army’s Centralia Corps hosted “Christmas in the Sun,” with a barbecue, inflatable toys and visits from local emergency officials, including the Civil Air Patrol.

Thanks to the U.S. Marine Corps’ toy donation, the children were able to “shop with a cop,” and pick out their own Christmas presents. Law enforcement from throughout the area served as volunteers.

“The kids say this really feels like Christmas because they didn’t get to celebrate last year,” a Lewis County Sheriff’s explorer said.

Ironically, in the middle of a dry summer week, rain poured down during the event. But that didn’t stop the holiday celebration.

Captain Ron Wehnau commends the community who helped The Salvation Army aid these families.

“Christmas happened. But in most people’s minds Christmas was a secondary event compared to the floods,” Wehnau said. “This event was all about, and for, the kids.”

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