On Dec. 15, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association partnered with the toy company JAKKS Pacific, Inc., to host a toy giveaway for 200 children from Local Boys & Girls Clubs.
GLAZA, which supports the L.A. Zoo through fundraising, marketing, membership and a volunteer program, gave toys to children from the Boys & Girls Clubs in Mar Vista Gardens, West San Gabriel Valley, South L.A., Watts-Willowbrook, Cincinnati Street and Los Angeles.
“It was a magical night for all of us as we got to help make some wishes come true,” Tom Jacobson, president of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, said. “We look forward to continuing this tradition of merrymaking for children who may otherwise feel like Christmas passed them by.”
Children ages 8-13 were treated to hot cocoa and churros before selecting one JAKKS Pacific toy, which included Disney and Paw Patrol items. Afterwards, the group set out to experience the wonder of L.A. Zoo Lights, which features the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, a magical disco ball forest, giant glittering snowflakes and a twinkling tunnel.
Children encountered lit-up tigers, lions, macaws, monkeys, meerkats and flamingos, as well as photo opportunities in the zoo’s Holiday Village.
Along the route, children could enjoy holiday features and entertainment such as hand-crafted Chinese silk lanterns and a high-tech interactive display in which dancing lights respond to guests’ voices. The also featured whimsical 3-D animations.
“It’s during these times that we remind ourselves just how good giving feels,” Brian Diamond, owner of Diamond Landscaping and Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association board chair, said. “It’s nice to provide some relief to parents and smiles to children during this holiday season.”
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