On December 19, Fontana hosted a Christmas toy store drive-through event for children battling cancer.
Lulu’s Village Of Hope With Notes (LVOHWN), led by Lourdes “Lulu” Goni, teamed up with Southern California Childhood Cancer Foundation Director Stephanie Avila to host the event.
“The purpose of this event was to bring a ray of Christmas joy and hope into the lives of these children who are sadly battling a life-threatening illness,” said Goni. “We have lost so many children to this disease. Our calling is to make Christmas as special as possible for these very brave children and their families.”
A total of 350 children were pre-registered for the remote giveaway that ran through the Morningside neighborhood.
Goni’s favorite African proverb is, “You need a village to raise a child.” To make this giveaway a success, she reached out to people and businesses in the community and emphasized that proverb with a little twist: “It takes a community to come together as a village to do great things for others. “
Goni was very grateful for the participation of the Fontana police; Petsmart store managers Jusin Cichon (Rancho Cucamonga) and Kira Stalworth (Fontana), Home Depot (N. Fontana and Ontario), Lowe’s (Fontana), LAFC, Continental Tires and Foothill Builders Mart (Fontana).
“There’s something new this year — delicious tamales are made and donated by John and his wife Jessica of Big Dogs Detail,” Goni said.
Goni also said she was grateful to all her neighbors and the Morningside community for supporting this special event.
Some of the volunteers this year included Santa (Peter Brierty, CCFSC Chairman of the Board), Mickey Mouse (Joshua Carbonell of Los Angeles Children’s Hospital), Minnie Mouse (Amanda of San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital), and Mr. Grinch (Dominic Agostini ). Also, about 35 Santa helpers came out to help set up, break down, distribute gifts and help direct traffic.
“This was a wonderful evening full of love, lots of smiles, moments of joy and priceless memories,” said Goni.