Over 100 youngsters experienced special Christmas treat thanks to FirstCaribbean

A truly extraordinary Christmas was given to over 100 children, who are wards of the island’s children’s homes or in foster care, through a party hosted for them during Yuletide.

About 108 excited children were at the playing field next to Simpson Motors in Warrens and entertained at a special “Christmas Wonderland” party replete with jumping castles, balloon artistes, face painters and delicious food.

Entertainment was delivered by members of Operation Triple Threat, a developmental performing arts programme for students up to age 21. The pièce de résistance was the arrival of Santa Claus with gifts, each labelled with the names of the children.

The party is being coordinated by Olivia Wilkie of kids’ event planning and entertainment business, Liv’s Party Box and the main sponsor is CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

Ms. Wilkie said the party would be “really exciting. We’ll also have a photographer taking images of the children with their favourite characters and then we’ll have those printed and given to them.”

The idea for the party came about after Roger Kelly of Jammin’ Cruises contacted Ms. Wilkie. She said they then met with the Child Care Board for its blessing.

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Rik Parkhill, CEO of CIBC FirstCaribbean presents Olivia Wilkie of Liv’s Party Box with funds to host a Christmas party for over 100 children from the island’s childrens’ homes.

Speaking to the intended impact of the party on the children, Ms. Wilkie added: “I just want them to have a great time and I want that every time they turn their heads that there’s some sort of ‘wow’ factor. We sometimes take these types of moments for granted with our own families at Christmas but these children may not get to experience that.”

Describing the party as one of the largest she’s coordinated, Ms. Wilkie said the effort also includes the involvement of Jammin’ Cruises, Consumers’ Guarantee Insurance, Lime, Kids World Rentals and Imagine Entertainment.

In thanking CIBC FirstCaribbean for its sponsorship of the party, Ms. Wilkie noted, “I am just beyond grateful for this. I’ve been working on the party since September and when I heard we might have to cancel it because of lack of sponsorship, I was shattered. So when the bank came through I was over the moon. I extend a huge thanks to CIBC FirstCaribbean for making this happen.” She added: “This’ll be a Christmas that the children won’t forget.”

Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Rik Parkhill said the bank was delighted to help spread some Christmas cheer to the children through a party. “We’re particularly happy to give back to young children, who through no fault of their own have experienced challenges, and are excited for the fantastic time they’ll have at this “Christmas Wonderland. This is what Christmas is about – giving and joy.”

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