5th annual FREE event raised toys and funds for families in need
PORT ST LUCIE, FL — The 5th Annual New Horizons Breakfast with Santa was held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at the St. Lucie Mets Clover Park with hundreds of children and their families attending.
The event was sponsored by Stewart Materials, the Amazin’ Mets Foundation, Aramark, Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, Sutherlin Nissan, and Mary Baysinger to raise funds for mental health services and provide Christmas joy to children in need.
Aramark staff served up a scrumptious all-you-can-eat meal to hungry revelers, while Santa (Kevin Lake of Bella’s Wings in Tampa) heard the hearts’ desires of local youth.
For the fifth year, the Treasure Coast Photography Center members provided printed photos of the children with Santa as a keepsake to include with the cards hand-made in the arts and crafts area.
The free event for children under the age of 18 also included face painting, cookie decorating, and ornament making, as well as an opportunity to perform with Top Clown Karaoke.
Among the volunteer superstars were Jerry Koedyker, who helped organize the event, New Horizons staff, and 60 students, teachers, and coaches from Fort Pierce Central High School, who helped transform the stadium venue into a magical winter wonderland.
Adult admission was $5 or an unwrapped toy; toys and gift cards were later distributed through case managers to children associated with New Horizons from low-income families/foster families.
“Breakfast with Santa is an opportunity to create wholesome memories to last a lifetime,” said William Wims, New Horizons CEO. “Many of the children who attend have never decorated a cookie or even held a printed photo because of their living situations. Our intent with this event is to spread joy and encourage a sense of hope about the future.”
New Horizons is a nonprofit mental health and addiction recovery provider serving about 15,000 adults and children annually, ages 4 and up, across St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties. The agency also brings drug/alcohol prevention and anti-bullying programs to 22,000 students in area schools, grades K-12.
Since the onset of covid, 65% of New Horizons clients have no source of income or any insurance, yet no one is turned away due to a lack of financial resources.
Established in 1958, New Horizons has nine outpatient offices conveniently located across the region, as well as inpatient programs at the main campus on Midway Road in Fort Pierce. The agency also has a 24-hour helpline and mobile response team that delivers mental health care directly to an individual in need, day or night at no cost.
For more information, please visit www.nhtcinc.org or call 772-672-8333.