PERRIS, Calif. (December 16, 2019) –– The City of Perris conducted a city-wide toy drive event with a Christmas Trolley making surprise stops around town on Friday, December 13, 2019.
Thanks to a City collaboration with businesses, developers, cops and firefighters, the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Perris Historical Society, more than 1000 toys were delivered to children, bringing smiles and good cheer from an old-fashion trolley car to residents at surprise stops around town.
Toys were donated by Tim Howard from Howard Industrial, Karen Woodruff from Action Star Games, Lou Monville from IDI, Evergreen, Local Developer Jose Ruvalcaba, Shade Awad, Green America, and Holistic, and of course, Perris residents also contributed as well.
The “Perris Christmas Trolley” began at City Hall and stopped at three different neighborhoods where several hundred children and parents lined up to receive an assortment of toys from more than 80 staff and volunteers. The first stop was at Copper Creek and piggy-backed off a community engagement event for improvement of park amenities. From there, the 10-car motorcade headed to Paragon Park and made the final stop in the residential area on Diamond Way between Opal and Amethyst. Santa himself was there to greet hundreds of children and smile for photos, as families emerged from their home to meet the trolley loaded with toys.
Perris Mayor Michael M. Vargas, Mayor Pro Tem Marisela Magaña, and Council Member Malcom Corona participated in distributing footballs, soccer balls, remote-controlled toys, drones, dolls, action figures, toy trains, Razors and other goodies, as well as city staff, representatives from the Chamber and other community partners who donated toys. They were joined by City Manager Richard Belmudez, Assistant City Manager Isabel Carlos, Assistant City Manager Clara Miramontes, Director of Community Services Director Sabrina Chavez, Counter Services Supervisor Veronica Arana and numerous employees from Code Enforcement, Public Works and Community Services also took part. Chamber of Commerce President Josh Naggar also was on hand as was Katie Keyes of the Perris Valley Historical and Museum Association.
Mayor Michael M. Vargas was happy to be a part of this event and spread some holiday spirit.
“Every year we get to do this and it’s a great tradition that spreads holiday cheer,” said Vargas. “Doing this makes the residents happy but it also brings us joy to give back to the community and brighten someone’s holiday season. We love our Perris residents.”
Mayor Pro Tem Marisela Magaña talked about the family environment and giving back to the community.
“It’s important for our Perris residents to know they are our family too,” said Magaña. “We appreciate them and it’s a good opportunity to give back to them.”
Council Member Corona loves this event because it brings joy to the children of the community.
“Just to see the look on their face makes it all worth,” said Corona. “We want to make sure they understand they are important and loved and that we care.”
Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez was moved by the efforts to make this holiday season special for the children.
“To see the look on those kids faces – it really made all the hard work worth it, said Belmudez. “It was really heartwarming to see them get surprised like that and I was happy to be apart of it.”
Counter Services Supervisor Veronica Arana, who organized the toy drive and conducted all the moving parts to the event, echoed sentiments of satisfaction and joy during the event.
“Just to see one smiling child who gets a toy from this event and the chance to see Santa makes it all worth it for us,” said Arana. “The Christmas season is about giving and being able to give so many toys to so many children and see their smiles: my heart is full.”
Much of the Christmas Trolley outing was live streamed by Audio Visual Specialist Everett Hambly and Social Media Specialist Karina Espinoza.