SOUTHINGTON - Santa Claus is coming to YMCA Camp Sloper for the 10th year Dec. 14, bringing with him a whole lot of holiday fun and asking boys and girls to help him collect toys for kids who could use some cheering up.
“Santa at Sloper” is presented by The Mill Foundation for Kids and hosted by YMCA Camp Sloper at 1000 East St. During the event, which will be held from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m., children can take a picture with Santa Claus, listen to Christmas carols, make a holiday craft and eat enjoy snacks. They can also take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, go sledding on the camp’s super slide, take a holiday hike around Sloper Pond or play on the camp’s playscape, weather permitting.
In past years, Justin Hubeny, outdoor center director at Camp Sloper, said, more than 100 families have attended.
“This is a great fun, family event,” said Hubeny. “Kids get to do crafts, play at Camp Sloper if the weather is good, and meet Santa. They also get to learn about giving back to others, which is very important.”
Proceeds from the event will support the Mill Foundation for Kids’ efforts to help kids with pediatric illnesses and the YMCA’s annual support campaign to help less fortunate families attend Camp Sloper. Donated toys will go to local children’s hospitals and the YMCA’s Outreach program.
Tom Sangeloty, outdoor center program director at Camp Sloper, explained that the Y’s outreach program is its way of helping out underprivileged local children.
“We help them with homework, provide them with free Y services, play games with them and just hang out and act as positive role models,” he said.
Children working with the outreach program will also be invited to a holiday party specifically for those families on Dec. 18.
Hubeny said that the Santa at Sloper program has been a “great partnership.” In addition to volunteers from The Mill Foundation for Kids, there will also be volunteers from the local high school helping out.
No preregistration is necessary for Santa at Sloper. There is a suggested donation of $10 per family and one unwrapped new toy.
For more information, visit millfoundation.org or email Tina Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.