The Santa Experience.
Sleeping Children Around the World chair Dave Dryden, left, receives a cheque for $32,309 from Sherway Gardens general manager Andy Traynor while Santa Claus looks on. Photo by Marnie Bonnett
Sherway Gardens has raised over $32,000 through a popular Santa Claus attraction to donate to an organization that provides bed kits for children in developing countries.
The mall began selling tickets to the Santa Experience in November and throughout December. It raised $32,309 that was donated during a ceremony this morning at the mall to Sleeping Children Around the World.
"Since 2002, Sherway Gardens has proudly donated 100 per cent of the proceeds from the Santa Experience to Sleeping Children Around the World," said Sherway's general manager Andy Traynor. "To date, $204,825 has been raised through ticket sales for the Santa Experience which has gone toward helping over 5,000 children worldwide."
The Santa Experience allowed children to join Santa Claus for an interactive play session that included sing-a-longs, dancing and story time. Children also got to share with Old Saint Nick what they wanted for Christmas and pose for a photo.
"It's such a great thing to think that a happy time such as Christmas, where our children are celebrating and having their pictures taken with Santa, can lead to many kids overseas getting bed kits," said Sleeping Children Around the World chair Dave Dryden. "As a result of the support (we have) received from Sherway Gardens, we have been able to provide approximately 6,000 bed kits to children in countries around the world including India, Kenya, the Philippines, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Honduras and Bangladesh. We can't thank them enough."