LORAIN â€” Families gathered to enjoy the holiday festivities Friday at the inaugural Cookies and Cocoa with Santa at Knights of St. John, 1620 Kansas Ave. in Lorain.
Ricky Smith, of Lorain, said he organized the free, ticketed event as a way to boost the community.
â€œI was born and raised here and I wanted to do something for the kids,â€ he said. â€œGive them something to look forward to.â€
Smith is a parent and knows how tough the holidays can be on parents. He said he hopes the event becomes an annual tradition and that it will be bigger next year.
â€œWe would like for Lorain High School or (Lorain County Community College) will become involved so more kids can attend,â€ Smith said.
Festivities included treat bags for the kids, games, prizes, holiday music, cocoa and cookies. Two hundred free tickets to the event had been distributed through Eventbrite.com.
Brittany Montgomery was there with her family.
â€œI think events like this are great, especially for people with limited funds,â€ Montgomery said. â€œAnd the kids enjoy it.â€
Smith said he is grateful for the generosity of local businesses that supported the event, including Illicit Designs, VIP Barber and Beauty Salon, Stay Humble Stay Fresh, Tower Educational Learning Center, Legendz, Jump at the Sun, Record On Demand, T-Bonds, First XXIV, Steel City Auto, Those Cookies Dough and Mariotti Printing Co.
Contact Cindy Breda at 329-7126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.