|It is hard to believe that the “Angels in the Alley” event could get bigger . . . or better! But this year the elves that organize the affair, Dorian McCoy and Kari Pegram, have continued to have an impact that goes far beyond the Christmas celebration. With help from donors in the building industry and a number of families from around the community, “Angels in the Alley” fundraised enough for the party, gift cards for each of the foster youth, and to establish a scholarship fund for teens transitioning from the foster care system. What a phenomenal group!
The event itself at Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin is fun, fun, nothing but fun! This is vitally important to what we do as a program since teaching our young people how to have fun sober is essential in their recovery. The generous gift cards are powerful, not only for what the teens can buy themselves but also for what they can buy others. Two of our young ladies have young children, and for the first time they were able to buy gifts for their babies with the gift cards. To have “Angels in the Alley” develop a scholarship program for our young people transitioning from the foster care system is outstanding. This area is one of the biggest missing pieces in foster care as our young adults just don’t have the same family support that many do. Lastly, it is absolutely undeniable at the “Angels in the Alley” event that people really do care. The event had everything from our own personal elf, the American Elves judges and emcee for the Christmas Rap Competition (Cher, Jennifer Lopez, Brittney Spears, Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest), to the community members who were there to encourage and cheer our teens on.
During the bowling, the ever popular “Twinkle Toes Award” (most original bowling technique), the “Gutter Ball Award” (best gutter ball bowler), and the best decorated Christmas Hat Award were determined. Honored with Bowling Pin Trophies, the competitions brought lots of cheers, jeers and good fun. Once we moved into our private party room, the American Elves Christmas Rap competition began. The teens had been working on individual and group performances, from raps and songs to a poem. What a blast . . . even with our own Simon Cowell being critical about everything.
This year we had a special speaker Tharon Trujillo. As an award winning teen entrepreneur, he brought forth the challenge to be the best you can be in spite of your circumstances, and had the story to back it up. Our teens were not only encouraged, but inspired. Tharon ended his talk with gifts for everyone. As it turned out for one of our CRC young ladies, Tharon’s gift was the first Christmas gift that she had ever unwrapped . . . and that was only the beginning. Next came the gift cards along with several personal heartfelt gifts from the Angels in the Alley team. As it turns out, there is only one way to closeout a Christmas party put on by a bunch of elves, “all-you-can-eat ice cream sundaes!”