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January 6, 2004 > Niles Rotary's Pizza with Santa

Niles Rotary's Pizza with Santa

In a holiday season when charitable donations have declined, 20 children and their families were fortunate to receive gifts and have pizza with Santa on Saturday, December 20 at the Centerville Presbyterian Church.

Niles Rotary sponsored the event for the children of the Winter Relief Program of the Tri-City Homeless Coalition. For Saturday's "Pizza With Santa" party, Niles Rotarians donated $2,250 for the families' toys and clothing; former city councilwoman Judy Zlatnik did all the purchasing for Santa, noting "I did all my shopping for this event in Fremont!" Zlatnik had interviewed each family to learn of their needs and holiday gift wishes for both the children and the adults. In addition to the Rotarians' donations of funds, Niles Rotarian Gary Raver donated his services to repair two of the families' vehicles. Packets of McDonalds "Happy Meals" gift certificates, donated by Niles Rotary and President Tony Boudames, were given to all the children. Tony Boudames said that "my children love "Happy Meals" and I wanted children who are not so fortunate to be able to enjoy the meals also." Niles Rotarians served as elves for Santa to deliver the toys, and served the pizza lunch for the children; the pizza was donated by Dan Lewis of Domino's Pizza in Centerville.

Niles Rotarian, Mary Ellen Gallagher who coordinated the event, said that "these kids are so excited to have this special event just for them; they love their toys, and the warmth, food, love, and comfort that this party gives them." President Tony Boudames added, "Niles Rotary is a very giving organization, and we are pleased to give our donations and time to help these kids who are going through such a hard time." Rose Everndon-Andrade, a Niles Rotarian who also helped coordinate the party, added "we have so much to give and this season of giving reminds us of those who will benefit from our gifts and love; we need to stop and think of and help those in our community who are without shelter, food, and the many things we so take for granted. All these donations have added up to a wonderful service for these families."

The Coalition's Winter Relief Program, in cooperation with churches in Fremont, provides overnight shelter to homeless families on the waiting list for Sunrise Village, operated by the Tri-City Homeless Coalition. For information about Niles Rotary, visit the web site at

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