Merry Memories Creates Holiday Magic for Families in the Dove Springs Community

December 16th, 2010 by Mona

River City Youth Foundation would like to extend a big thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who came out and participated at our 13th Annual Merry Memories Holiday this past weekend.

Hours before the first families began arriving, the Dove Springs Recreation Center was buzzing with holiday cheer. Over 100 high school students, college students, and community leaders arrived to put some holiday touches on the venue. By the time they finished, the recreation center had been transformed into a holiday wonderland with paper snowmen, Christmas trees, elves, a magician, and the man in the red suit himself.

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Decorations inside the gym

More than 200 volunteers helped make dreams come true for thousands of underserved children in the Dove Springs community. Goodie bags with hot dogs and cookies were distributed to families as they waited patiently for their turn to walk through the Toy Depot where Santa’s helpers were lined up to give each child a toy.

Merry Memories Volunteers
Merry Memories Volunteers

The excitement of the holidays continued outside as families listened to holiday music, worked on crafts, and enjoyed the crisp weather. However, the true sprit of the season became most obvious when 15-year-old Eric Reyes came on stage to claim the bike he won in the toy raffle. To everyone’s amazement, Eric picked the smallest bike available. When asked why he did this, Eric told raffle organizers that he had promised his little brother that if he won, he’d get a bike for him. If you want to read more about Eric and his generosity, get all the details in the Austin American-Statesman article here.

Eric and his winning ticket.
Eric and his winning ticket

Thousands of children were shown the gift of sharing and caring at Merry Memories. And this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of numerous supporters. We want to thank some of you personally, including New York Life, City of Austin, Austin Firefighters, APD’s Amigos en Azul, MWM Design, Dell Computer, Kiwanis Club of Austin, Key Clubs of Akins and Crockett High Schools, Tony Martinez and his group, Danny Forbes, Elizabeth Gonzales, and many others.

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If reading this post has put you in a festive mood, we encourage you to contact River City Youth Foundation and find out what you can do this holiday season. We are still looking for people to adopt a family for the season. If you want to help Santa this year, please contact us at PR@rivercityyouth.org. Thank you for all your support. Have a blessed and safe holiday!

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