Crafts, Santa, and cookies galore brought in families from all over the La Porte community Tuesday evening.
The kickoff to the Christmas event had kids lined up to do crafts, eat some cookies, and meet Santa for the 5th annual Jolly Family Affair at La Porte Hospital. Nearly 200 folks of all ages packed the main lobby to enjoy the free festivities and everyone left with a smile on their faces.
The Jolly Family Affair has evolved over the past five years. Starting out as two separate events for Baby’s First Christmas and Winter Wellness Land for older children, the staff decided to combine the two so that everyone could celebrate together.
“This is just another way for us to give back to the community. Our organization has a family feel, so to be able to invite the community in and welcome them as part of our family is a special way to support our mission,” Regional Director of Marketing and Communications, Kelly Credit said. “I love seeing the children have fun and their faces light up when they are playing with each other and seeing Santa. That’s got to be the best part.”
The focus of this family-friendly event is to get people together around the holidays to start celebrating, be joyful, and shed some stress while letting the kids have fun.
“We get people from all walks of life coming in, and it’s really great to see the older kids come in and get excited about being here. It’s heartwarming to see the community come together to celebrate the holiday season,” Manager of Wellness Outreach Katie Sarver said. “I love the events that we put on because they impact the community in a positive way. Everyone who comes through is always thankful for what we’ve done, and they’re excited about what we’re going to put on next.”
Several of the La Porte Hospital staff dressed as elves to support the occasion. One of whom was Director of Women’s Services at La Porte Hospital, Kristin Wroblewski, who loves being able to see babies born at the hospital. She even created a special ornament for new moms to take home with them.
“We wanted the babies and their families to have something memorable for their first Christmas, and I’m super excited to see the babies and how they have grown,” Wroblewski said. “It’s very important that La Porte Hospital be present out in the community, especially with obstetrics being such a great service here. There are always new babies coming, and we are eager to welcome them at our new hospital next year!“
CEO of La Porte Hospital, Ashley Dickinson, gave credit to all of her staff that came up with the idea for the Jolly Family Affair, and who are always willing to support the communities served by La Porte Hospital.
“This is a great family event and a time to re-engage new families with their obstetricians. It is always a fun time,” Dickinson said. “I enjoy seeing our staff get excited about events like this and am proud of their efforts to provide all of the crafts, refreshments, Santa, and even an exercise area/obstacle course for the children. The staff’s joy in providing this experience is a really special part of this event.”