Centier Bank hosted a drive-thru winter wonderland holiday event at its Corporate Centre on Dec. 5, welcoming over 200 children. Attendees were encouraged to dress in pajamas and decorate their cars. This annual, magical experience was modified this year to coincide with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The Centier Corporate Centre’s parking lot was decked out with lights, festive Christmas trees, inflatable decorations, and holiday music. Children received Christmas cookies, candy canes, and a holiday mask craft to take home, as well as a gift and a visit with Santa Claus.
The event was hosted by members of the Schrage Family, owners of Centier Bank, who greeted guests, distributed gifts, and spread cheer.
“It was important to us to keep the spirit of Christmas alive for our associates and their families, during a year filled with so much loss,” explained Melissa Schrage Contrucci. “We came up with this idea to come together as a family and help spread holiday cheer. It’s something we look forward to doing for our associates each year, it’s yet another reason why Centier is a great place to work.”
This was Centier’s fifth annual children’s Christmas party for associates’ children and grandchildren however, this year, an invitation was extended to clients at Chasing Dreams, Inc., a Merrillville-based nonprofit.
Chasing Dreams, Inc., provides integrated and vital programs for individuals with special needs and their families that facilitate an environment of growth, learning, and independence. Denise Babjak, CEO & Founder of Chasing Dreams, Inc., said the holiday drive-thru was an absolute hit with the families who traveled from across Northwest Indiana to celebrate.
“For some of our families, this was their first time out since the pandemic hit,” Babjak said. “Children and adults of all ages were so excited that they were going to be able to see Santa in a safe environment. Some of them were even in tears from being so happy. We had an overwhelming response of gratitude from the families.”