Newhall community receives holiday celebration

By Samie Gebers

Last update: Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Janice Fry was pleased to see her two boys smiling while they played in the “snow” during the 11th Annual Festividad for Christ Community Christmas Celebration in Newhall.

For Fry and her family, this past year was a difficult one.

“Me and my two boys are currently homeless or staying at a shelter,” said Fry.

“I get to see them smile and have fun.”

Yareni Galicia, 7, left, gets a gift from Sydney Jackson at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Yareni Galicia, 7, left, gets a gift from Sydney Jackson at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

For Fry’s family and many others, they got the chance to have a little Christmas spirit tossed into their lives.

The Faith Community Church hosted their annual event on Saturday, giving children the opportunity to play in the “snow,” and receive presents while their families received free clothes and a turkey to go home with for Christmas dinner.

“We love this church’s heart for the community,” says Shannon Henson, who brought three of her children with her to partake in the festivities.

“We love what they’re doing and we appreciate it.”

Hundreds of attendees sort through donated clothing at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Hundreds of attendees sort through donated clothing at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Between 800 and 1,200 people were expected to attend, but the celebration did not always reach this many.

“Our very first event 11 years ago was just a handful of us showing up at the parking lot across the street to offer hot dogs and gifts,” says Senior Pastor Steve Jackson.

“We’re just thrilled with the opportunity to bless our community.”

Volunteer Oscar Cervantes, left, serves mashed potatoes to some of the hundreds of attendees who enjoied a chicken dinner at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Volunteer Oscar Cervantes, left, serves mashed potatoes to some of the hundreds of attendees who enjoied a chicken dinner at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Funds were raised by the church’s congregation and through local businesses that volunteered their services.

“What has excited me most about this event was just the partnership from the community,” says Jackson.

And because of the donations and the generosity of the community, families went home with gifts, a turkey, clothes and a smile on their face.

“In the midst of everything that is going on in their lives, if we could just bring them a day of joy, that is more than we can ask for,” says Jackson.

Hundreds of attendees were served a meal at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Hundreds of attendees were served a meal at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Newhall community receives holiday celebration

From left, Beckham Welch, 8, Tyler Balkman, 10 and Ben Kugler, 11, build a snowman at the Festividad for Christ cfommunity event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Janice Fry was pleased to see her two boys smiling while they played in the “snow” during the 11th Annual Festividad for Christ Community Christmas Celebration in Newhall.

For Fry and her family, this past year was a difficult one.

“Me and my two boys are currently homeless or staying at a shelter,” said Fry.

“I get to see them smile and have fun.”

Yareni Galicia, 7, left, gets a gift from Sydney Jackson at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Yareni Galicia, 7, left, gets a gift from Sydney Jackson at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

For Fry’s family and many others, they got the chance to have a little Christmas spirit tossed into their lives.

The Faith Community Church hosted their annual event on Saturday, giving children the opportunity to play in the “snow,” and receive presents while their families received free clothes and a turkey to go home with for Christmas dinner.

“We love this church’s heart for the community,” says Shannon Henson, who brought three of her children with her to partake in the festivities.

“We love what they’re doing and we appreciate it.”

Hundreds of attendees sort through donated clothing at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Hundreds of attendees sort through donated clothing at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Between 800 and 1,200 people were expected to attend, but the celebration did not always reach this many.

“Our very first event 11 years ago was just a handful of us showing up at the parking lot across the street to offer hot dogs and gifts,” says Senior Pastor Steve Jackson.

“We’re just thrilled with the opportunity to bless our community.”

Volunteer Oscar Cervantes, left, serves mashed potatoes to some of the hundreds of attendees who enjoied a chicken dinner at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Volunteer Oscar Cervantes, left, serves mashed potatoes to some of the hundreds of attendees who enjoied a chicken dinner at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Funds were raised by the church’s congregation and through local businesses that volunteered their services.

“What has excited me most about this event was just the partnership from the community,” says Jackson.

And because of the donations and the generosity of the community, families went home with gifts, a turkey, clothes and a smile on their face.

“In the midst of everything that is going on in their lives, if we could just bring them a day of joy, that is more than we can ask for,” says Jackson.

Hundreds of attendees were served a meal at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Hundreds of attendees were served a meal at the Festividad for Christ community event held at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

About the author

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers is currently studying broadcast journalism at College of the Canyons. She reports on the weekends as well as produces video content during the week.