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WesternU welcomes 120 local youths to 25th annual Santa's Workshop

by Rodney Tanaka

December 16, 2013

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More than 100 children through the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services received Christmas cheer, food and gifts during Western University of Health Sciences’ Santa’s Workshop Dec. 7, 2013.

WesternU has been the proud host of Santa’s Workshop for the past 25 years. The Student Government Association (SGA) organized the workshop with support from the Office of University Student Affairs and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

WesternU students volunteered their time to provide 120 children and their foster families a Christmas celebration.

Children ranging from infants to 12 years old participated in arts and crafts, a Christmas play, a traditional holiday meal, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“The support we receive from our campus community is overwhelming,” said Director for University Student Affairs Michelle Tadros. “Every year we manage to get personalized gifts for each child on our list and our students step up to volunteer in the midst of their final exams. I know this event will continue to be deeply rooted in WesternU’s tradition for many years to come.”

More than 400 people attended and received meals from more than 50 staff and student volunteers.

Nearly $9,000 in contributions was raised. The campus community donated an estimated $6,000 in gifts and more than $2,700 in monetary donations were received from local businesses, students, staff and faculty, Tadros said.

Local business organizations that contributed include: Bright Prospects, Burrtec, Jouni’s Catering, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, La Nueva Voz, Molina Health Care, Valley Academies Foundation, and Williams Sign Co.

WesternU community members who contributed include: Founding President Dr. Philip Pumerantz; Board Member John Forbing; Provost/COO Dr. Gary Gugelchuk; Vice Provost/Professor Dr. Sheree Aston; Harriet K & Philip Pumerantz Library; Eva Badouin; Brett Boston; Kathryn Ford; Colleen Galindo; Susan Gebhard; Debra Hartman; Dr. Robert Pechnick; Brenda Premo; Otto Reyer; Dr. James Reynolds; Sherry Slade; Olive Stephens; Ashley Suplee & Family and Denise Wilcox.

Student clubs that organized crafts with the children include: Physical Therapy Club, Rho Chi Society, National Student Nurses Association, American College of Osteopathic Pediatrics, Los Angeles County Medical Association. The Humor As Medicine Club performed the Santa’s Workshop play written by an alum and performed every year at Santa’s Workshop since 1993.

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