One of the largest Christmas holiday food and toy giveaways in the East San Gabriel Valley will be held this Saturday at Ganesha Park in Pomona. It is the fifth annual Sowing Seeds for Life “Christmas in the Park,” which begins at noon and ends around 4 p.m.
In addition to food for the needy and toys for children, the event features pictures with Santa Claus, kids’ games, live entertainment, and fun activities.
Last year’s “Christmas in the Park” attracted more than 3,000 people, with 2,042 signing up to receive non-perishable food items. Also, 406 toys were passed out to children. And some of the best musicians in the area provided entertainment arranged by jazz radio station KTST (79.5 FM).
According to event coordinator Paulette Young, this year’s entertainment includes Vaughn Fahie of Sax4God Productions, 2 U Neek, also known as Texas Twins Ashley and Ashton, Britney Young, Barstow Academy of Dance performers aged 4-10, and The Keys.
Sowing Seeds for Life is a charitable non-profit organization that feeds some 6,000 people in need per month. It was founded in 2007 by Glendora resident Vicki Brown, who is also the CEO of DPI Labs, a La Verne aerospace engineering company.
Brown said some 150 volunteers, plus a long list of donors and sponsors are the ones who made the event so successful last year.
Damien High School has become a big contributor, raising money and conducting toy drives. This year’s toy drive was held Nov. 2 when the Damien football team played Charter Oak at Dick Larson Stadium. Spearheading the toy drive was the school’s Community Service Outreach Club.
Major food contributors include Cornucopia Foods, a division of Fairplex, and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
The City of Pomona is also a supporter and Mayor Elliott Rothman usually attends the event. Ganesha Park is located at 1575 North White Avenue in Pomona.
Sowing Seeds for Life, or SSFL, will hold a second Christmas holiday food and toy giveaway on Dec. 19 at DPI Labs, 1350 Arrow Highway in La Verne, which is the regular site for its twice-a-month food pantries. SSFL provides foods, clothing and services the first and third Wednesday of every month. SSFL, which also has several satellite pantries at various locations and locations throughout the month, gives away about a million pounds of food per year.
SSFL has grown from a small garden project in 2007 into one of the East San Gabriel Valley’s most significant charities. Brown was given $100 by her church to use for good works, so she planted some seeds in order to grow produce to donate to families in a mobile home park.
Brown last year was presented with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s Tony Collier Award for her dedicated commitment in the fight against hunger.
The charity also operates a community farm at Falcon Ranch, a 45-acre spread owned by John Defalco in the foothills of San Dimas Canyon.
A major fundraiser for the organization has become its annual celebrity golf tournament. This year’s tournament was held Oct. 8 at Glendora Country Club. It featured a one-hour performance by nationally known sportscaster and entertainer Roy Firestone and a special appearance Bob Miller, the Hall of Fame announcer for the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
Through her organization, Vicki Brown has generously given of her time, talents and finances to help form a better life for many families in need and also help various area communities as well.
For further information on “Christmas in the Park” and SSFL, call DPI Labs at 909 392-5777.