by Long Hwa-shu
A fund-raiser for Santa Cause which benefits needy children will be held at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 4, at the Village Green Golf Course Clubhouse, Midlothian and Winchester roads in Mundelein.
Santa Cause(not Claus) was started as a cause by a group of Lake County volunteers headed by Pam Holway of Lake Villa to bring holiday gifts to children who are less fortunate. It is in its 18th years and keeps growing, according to Holway.
Last year the group raised about $10,000. “We hope to exceed that this year,” said Holway, an accountant who works for a Lake County company.
Among major corporate donors are Local 597 of Pipefitters Association, Long Grove Lions Club, National Association of Government Employees and the Village Green Golf Course, she said.
Funds raised this year will go toward 11 classrooms in Head Start programs in Beach Park, Grayslake, Highland Park and North Chicago, and also the Paul Kennedy Child Center at the James Lovell Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Chicago. More than 225 children will receive holiday gifts and clothing at these classrooms.
Started in 1998 as holiday gatherings, the group decided that in lieu of grab bag gifts for each other they should each bring a $10 gift for a needy child. The response was overwhelming and thus the beginning of Santa Cause, said Holway.
Each year volunteers begin working in October to get lists of children for gifts and clothes from Head Start teachers. After gifts are purchased, they are wrapped and put into a personalized bag for each child. They are then loaded into a truck called “Santa’s Sleigh” for distribution to the various classrooms by a Santa Clause. Cedar Roofing Co. of Lake Forest has been donating the use of its truck for the distribution which will be Dec. 16-17 this year.
“When Santa Clause arrives to hand each child their personalized gift bag, the smiles alone are worth all our efforts,” said Holway.