Winter Wonderland: A Miracle on Fort Harrison Avenue

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The 13th Annual Winter Wonderland is open again this year continuing its traditional charity drive for local charities and its mission of instilling hope for the future in children of all ages.

On Friday, December 2, 2005, Winter Wonderland, created by the 400 members of the Church of Scientology's Clearwater Community Volunteers, was officially opened when Santa arrived to officially turn on the lights and let the festivities begin. Among those attending were: State Senator Dennis Jones and his wife Susan; Vice Mayor Bill Jonson; City Councilwoman Carlen Peterson; City Councilman John Doran; Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne; Rod Jones, candidate for State Representative District 54 and his wife Mendy and sons Jaxon and Jerrod; Bob Puricelli from Everybody’s Tabernacle and their Homeless Emergency Project, one of the charities that your toys and food donations are given to.

Winter Wonderland is open to the public from December 2nd – 22nd; 6-9pm Thursdays and Fridays; 1-9pm Saturdays and Sundays. It is located on the 200 block of N. Fort Harrison, corner of Drew & Ft. Harrison in Clearwater. Admission is free, but all they ask is that you bring an unwrapped toy, canned goods or a donation for local charities. Winter Wonderland, coordinated by the Church of Scientology and the Clearwater Community Volunteers, started with a mission to create a wonderful holiday experience for children of all ages so as to instill hope for the future.

Throughout the years Winter Wonderland has provided toys to the Red Cross; Everybody’s Tabernacle; Boys & Girls Club; Toys for Tots and the Police Athletic League. They also provide food to Everybody’s Tabernacle. This year they will provide toys to Leadership Tampa Bay for Katrina hurricane victims.

Winter Wonderland is a complete Christmas village with over 90 live pine trees and more than 100,000 lights adorning those trees and the Christmas cottages. It is completely paid for by donations and constructed, decorated, manned and de-constructed by volunteers. It takes thousands of man hours to hold the event.

Kids (and adults alike) can have their pictures taken with Santa, partake in cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, pet animals at the petting zoo, take pony rides, slide down their blow-up slide, bounce away in the bouncy house and be entertained by highlighted events scheduled all throughout the month of December.

The Event Highlights includes: Sonny LaRosa’s America’s Youngest Jazz Band; Broadway and Beyond; BB’s Dance Factory; Karaoke; Mexican Dancers; Socrates & Dru Royalty Theatre and much, much, more. For more information call 727-442-2099.

About Scientology:

Scientology is an applied religious philosophy. It is a religion based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard. He has described his philosophies in more than 5,000 writings, including dozens of books, and three thousand tape recorded lectures. Those who regularly employ his teachings to improve themselves and help their fellows come from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.scientology.org

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