Dozens of Pomona Valley children will enjoy a festive holiday celebration

later this month, courtesy of students at Western University of Health

Sciences: A Graduate University of Medical Sciences.

About 100 children from Los Angeles County’s Children’s Services

Department are scheduled to celebrate the season with Western University

students from 5-8 p.m., Friday, December 15, in the University’s Student

Commons. After enjoying arts and crafts, decorating a Christmas tree,

singing Christmas carols and sitting down to a traditional holiday meal,

each child will receive gifts from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Santa’s Workshop is sponsored by Western University’s student clubs, with

support from faculty, administration and local businesses and

organizations which join together to fund the event. The holiday dinner,

for example, will be provided by Boston Market of Upland.

The party traditionally takes place following final exams on the last day

of class before the University’s winter break.

“”Many of the children who attend Santa’s Workshop are abused and living in

foster homes,”” said Gisele Tackoor, JD, director of student services for

the University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. “”This is

a great opportunity for students from all of our programs to share the

holiday spirit with those most in need.””

Each of the children from the county’s Children’s Services Department

requested a certain toy or gift. Western University’s students will

purchase those gifts with donated funds to give to the children at the

party. The most requested toys were: CD players, Poo Chi, remote control

cars, Mary and Kate Ashley dolls, Hot Wheels cars and radios, Tackoor

said. Barbie Dolls also were popular with the girls.

Students from two of Western University’s five colleges will volunteer at

the party. They are the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and

the College of Pharmacy.

Western University places a strong emphasis throughout its curricula on

instilling humanistic values in its students. A large percentage of the

University’s 35-plus student clubs and organizations are, like Santa’s

Workshop, dedicated to community service.

“”Skilled hands and compassionate hearts will continue to be the signature

of all of our graduates — exactly what is needed in health care today,””

said Western University President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. “”Santa’s

Workshop is an excellent example of how we are meeting this goal in

concrete, tangible ways.””

For more information on Santa’s Workshop, contact Tackoor at (909) 469-

5414.