Our Highlights

enCouraging Ho-Ho-Holiday Fun

We are now well into 2016 and we like to think that the many holiday parties we hosted for families in December helped them to usher in the New Year with their spirits lifted.

Santa was very busy delivering toys to enCourage kids and their siblings at parties in New York City, Albany, New Jersey, and Rochester.

At the party hosted at Clyde Frazier’s in NYC, he had the assistance of the elves from Wyndham Worldwide. Through their ‘Wishes by Wyndham’ charitable foundation and their ‘Angel Tree’ program, employees were able to purchase toys specifically requested by kids and their siblings. There were Plush Toys, Race Cars, Unicorn Toys, Board Games and lots of other exciting toys that the children requested. It’s wonderful to see this being put into place as it will have made the children extremely happy and grateful!

Wishes by Wyndham - Angel Tree

Wishes by Wyndham Angel Tree Program

According to Kate Scozzaro, Senior Manager of Events at Wyndham Worldwide, “It’s one of our favorite programs. This year we had over 100 children and every child was adopted and got a present. It just spreads cheer around the whole office and it makes all of us feel really good.”

Over 150 kids and family members also enjoyed crafts, lunch, a toy raffle, and family portraits, including the Hernandez family. According to mom Betsy, “From the moment we entered the event we felt so special. The decorations, the photo booth, arts and crafts, and the food, plus the presence of Santa Claus made the day magical. We are so grateful and my daughters had so much fun.”

Singer and long time supporter Carly Rose Sonenclar also spent individual time with the kids, signing autographs and posing for photos.

NYC Holiday Party

Santa made many stops visiting enCourage families.

In Albany, Hannaford supermarket chain played Santa’s helper by partnering with Albany Broadcasting and holding toy drives at two of their locations. They also donated the food for the 400 kids and family members that celebrated at Dave & Busters, which opened just for the day.

In New Jersey, 150 kids and family members were wowed at World of Wings Museum in Teaneck, NJ, where they got to explore the butterfly atrium, giant bounce house, crafts and caroling with Santa. Those looking to organize events of their own with all sorts of fun activities, games, and attractions for children to play on may want to check out bounce house sales near them.

And up in Rochester, 100 kids and family members enjoyed a breakfast with Santa.

For the 1,400 children who unfortunately had to spend time in the hospital during the holidays, their stay was made a little more magical as we delivered toys and entertainment to them.

Holiday Party in Albany

Santa visits with patients at Albany Medical Center

“The Emergency Department is so happy to have the wonderful toys to hand out at Christmas,” thanked Betsy Gramkow, Executive Director at Columbia-Greene Hospital Foundation. “I hope that no child needs to come to the ED over the holidays, but if they do, they’ll leave with a lovely present.”

Thank you to all of our holiday party sponsors who helped enCourage cheer to 2,200 kids and family members:

Ark Restaurants, Gagnon Securities, George Eastman House, Hannaford Brothers Company, The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, The Prescott Fund for Children and Youth, and Wyndham Worldwide.

View more photos from the holiday parties on our Facebook page.

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