Each year Winter Wonderland requires approximately 5,500 volunteer hours to build, operate, and pack up, and over $45,000 to produce. And each year, it captures the true spirit of the holiday season, not just with the scent of the abundantly decorated evergreens that add to the sparkling atmosphere. Winter Wonderland serves as a fundraiser, as well as a food and toy drive; bringing Christmas to underprivileged families who might otherwise have to go without. While admission is free, visitors are encouraged to bring new toys or non-perishable food items. Last year Clearwater Community Volunteers helped collect an estimated one ton of food and toys at Winter Wonderland with the majority being donated to the Homeless Emergency Project.
Winter Wonderland lights up t he lives of children and families of every background, and circumstance. A multitude of holiday themed attractions and entertainment are provided, with everything from magicians, decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus, an inflatable giant slide, bouncy house and pony rides to the famous “Winter Wonderland Express” trackless choo-choo train – and of course photos with Santa. A live stage features constant entertainment, from singers, dancers and animal shows to school performances and more. Some attractions do charge a small fee, helping pay for the event.
Visits from groups such as the Police Athletic League, Boys and Girls Club of Clearwater and Oldsmar, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida – Suncoast Region, the special-needs class from Safety Harbor Middle School, The Children’s Home (a Tampa orphanage) and the Community Learning Center will be the guests of the Clearwater Community Volunteers to enjoy everything Winter Wonderland has to offer.
Let’s not forget, that it’s all made possible by the dedicated work of the Clearwater Community Volunteers who work tirelessly year-round on the fundraising, planning and realization of this two week long magical holiday village. Winter Wonderland is sponsored by the Church of Scientology, as well as other generous community groups, businesses and individuals. Be sure to check out their sponsor board to see which wonderful, local companies sponsored Winter Wonderland by donating at least $1,000 this year.
The Clearwater Community Volunteers also put on the Ginormous “Easter Egg Hunt” in Coachman Park and the “Fashions with Flair Silent Auction and Fundraiser” at Belleair Country Club; to find out more visit www.ClearwaterCommunityVolunteers.org.