More than 1,000 area children left the Columbus Civic Center Saturday with at least one toy during the 48th Annual Needy Children’s Christmas Party.
Zauryha Soria, 8, was all smiles as she tested her new bicycle in the parking lot at the Civic Center. “I’m happy,” said Zauryha of Fort Mitchell, Ala. She was one of about 175 children to win a bicycle at the event sponsored by Davis Broadcasting Inc. of Columbus.
Cheryl Davis, the wife of chief executive officer Greg Davis, said Saturday’s party marked the 27th year Davis Broadcasting has continued the tradition to help children at Christmas time. “It’s a free event.” Davis said. “Any child that comes receives something.”
Davis said she was prepared to serve 1,500 children. “They keep flowing in,” she said.
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The event is funded through community pledges made during a radiothon and other sponsors.
Jeanette Young, the grandmother of Zauryha, said she has been coming to the event for years. “My daughter heard about it and told me to come,” she said.
Young, a native of Texas, noted how much the community helps people. “Where we are from in Texas you don’t do this.” she said. “This community is always doing something.”
Christopher Parker, 12, landed a new bicycle to hit the trails near his Columbus home. “I broke all the ones in my back yard,” he said. “I wanted a big bike.”
Brandon Fountain, Christopher’s stepfather, said the youth is tough on bicycles. “He drives them as hard as they will go,” he said.
Christopher admitted that many of his bikes end up as parts. “I have had a few,” he said. “One will last me a few months.”