2008 Lakers Holiday Party for Kids
Last Saturday, the roller-rink at Toyota Sports Center was transformed into a holiday wonderland for the annual Los Angeles Lakers Holiday Party For Kids, a major event in “A Season of Giving”, presented by East West Bank. For the party, the entire rink was draped in purple velvet, and filled with holiday decorations, carnival games, and festive music. The most important addition, of course, was the children from local youth organizations. A total of 90 kids from The Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, Asian Youth Center, Heart of Los Angeles came out to enjoy the party.
The kids were first treated to a meal. Lucille’s Bar-B-Que again provided a delicious feast of tri-tip steak, chicken strips, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and green salad. Once everyone had eaten their fill, the Laker Girls arrived to pass out Holiday Party t-shirts and “Go Green” tote bags from East West Bank. Then, the guests were invited to play the array of games. The games ranged from the traditional carnival games, like ring toss, to skee-ball machines, and X-box video game systems. The Lakers Girls joined the children to sign autographs and assist (or in some cases challenge) the children at the various games.
The holiday excitement hit a new high when players from the Lakers and D-Fenders joined the party. The Lakers, who had just been released from practice at the nearby gym, met with the children, signed autographs, and played games with everyone. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol played the special role of Santa Claus and posed for pictures with all in attendance. Soon enough, all the Lakers, D-Fenders and Laker Girls had the chance to feel like Santa, as they passed out holiday gifts to the kids. The gifts included Lakers hats, foam fingers, mini-basketballs and a Lakers bag filled with Lakers goodies and school supplies provided by East West Bank. The Lakers, D-Fenders, and Laker Girls then wished everyone a happy holiday season and the children all went on their merry way, with armfuls of gifts and memories for a lifetime.