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Reno firefighters plan annual Christmas party for children experiencing homelessness



On Sunday, Dec. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Reno firefighters will turn the Reno Ballroom into a center of creative Christmas activities for children experiencing homelessness.

The children, primarily from Reno’s downtown core area, are pre-selected by the Washoe County School District, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program, Pathfinders Ministry and the Family Shelter.

Current and retired Reno firefighters and police officers, their families and other volunteers will gather to hold the Reno firefighters’ annual Christmas party. The children will have an opportunity to make Christmas ornaments and gifts, play games and participate in face painting and other activities with adult role models to create a special day filled with fun, laughter and good food.

Santa Claus is scheduled to arrive on an antique fire engine and after a visit with Santa, the children will be taken to the “toy room,” where they will select a special Christmas present and receive other items.

A hot lunch is again being donated and catered by the Silver Legacy for the seventh consecutive year of the event through the efforts of Gary Carano, and will be served by members of the Reno fire and police departments.

Reno Fire Department Division Chief Tami Lopes, who organizes the annual event, says, “The one-on-one companionship for the children by adult role models is one of the most valuable aspects of this annual children’s Christmas party.”

Last year, an estimated 200 children, family members and volunteers gathered for the special party that is annually supported by donations from Reno firefighters and police officers, local businesses, artists and various volunteers.

Reno firefighters organized the first children’s Christmas party in 2001.

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