Bandon — Cookies for Santa, a free event for local children ages 0-18, was held on Dec. 23 at the Bandon Community Center. The event, organized by Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center Dietary Manager Rita Hamilton and co-sponsored by SCHHC and the City of Bandon, was attended by over 70 children and families.
Children were invited to frost cookies to give to Santa on Christmas Eve. Crafts were offered and face painting was available. Hot chocolate and hot cider were also provided. Children were invited to get their photo taken with Santa, and Mrs. Claus was bustling about the entire afternoon, making sure everyone had what they needed for a fun time. One of Santa’s elves was spotted among the children, generally making mischief. Children left with plates of frosted cookies, crafts they had completed, and smiles (and painted art) on their faces.
The event was free to attend, though a donation of canned or non-perishable food was suggested. The food collected was sizeable and was dropped off at Bandon Good Neighbors Food Bank.
Jeff Hamilton, who works in the SCHHC Engineering Department, helped with set-up and clean-up. Rita Hamilton said she was pleased with the turnout for the event and plans to do it again next year. She thanked everyone who attended and volunteered or helped at the event, including Over the Rainbow Face Painting, Alix McGinley (aka Santa’s elf) as well as Amy Moss Strong, Katrina Mann, Cyndi Pennington (who helped with crafts) and other SCHHC Dietary Department staff, who helped with prep prior to the event.
She also thanked SCHHC and CEO Ray Hino for supporting the event and the City of Bandon and Avery Richards for the use of the Bandon Community Center.