Santa came to town
It was indeed a Merry Christmas for the Children of Montego Bay at the Old Hospital Park on Gloucester Avenue on December 25. Over 2,500 gifts were handed out to children from across the parish of St James.
The event, a collaborative effort between Hah-R-Mony Entertainment Limited and the St James Municipal Council, saw a huge turnout from a wide cross section of persons, including over 60 children from the SOS Children’s Village in Rose Hall.
Scheduled to start at 2 p.m., patrons started trickling into the venue as early as 12 p.m., a clear sign of what was to come. By the time the band Tropical Vibes started strumming the beat to the perennial Christmas favourite — ‘Oh Holy Night’.
A loud and enthusiastic cheer from the frenzied crowd signalled the arrival of Santa Claus by boat, who within minutes of disembarking was greeted with hugs from excited children.
“For a first time event, this is very impressive,” a beaming Homer Davis, mayor of Montego Bay noted. “Hah-R-Mony Entertainment must be commended for bringing this brilliant idea to reality, and the parish council is indeed happy to be of some assistance.”
The Mayor was also quick to note that the event was a welcome respite from the gloom and mayhem that have been hovering over the city, adding, “we have to put the friendly back into the city of Montego Bay.”
Businesswoman and Montego Bay resident Cherry-Ann Gordon agreed. “I cannot recall something like this ever happening in Montego Bay,” she said. “Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, and there are so many persons who are really not in the position to buy gifts for their children. By any stretch of the imagination 2000 plus gifts are really a lot and these organisers must be commended.”
A very emotional and obviously satisfied Ho-Chi-Min Castillo, corporate entertainment director of Hah-R-Mony, said the turnout and the response exceeded all the expectations he had coming into the event.
“I am both humbled and overwhelmed by the response … he said. “We really put our collective hearts into making this possible, pumping $2 million into the production. Watching the reaction of the children … the smiles on their faces … it was worth every penny.”