At Risk Youth Experience Christmas at Church of Scientology’s Winter Wonderland

CLEARWATER, Fla., Dec. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On 17 December, 167 parents and at-risk youth went to Clearwater’s Winter Wonderland for a Christmas party just for them. Youth from all around the Tampa Bay Area participated, experiencing “firsts” of all sorts: first meeting with Santa Claus, first pony ride, first train ride.

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The event started at 2:00pm and the guests enjoyed the activities which included a bouncy house, train rides, a giant slide, pony rides, a petting zoo and photos with Santa Claus. Food was also available throughout with hot chocolate, chicken fingers, mini pizzas, mini hot dogs and popcorn.

“This was awesome and I want to come back! The kids are having so much fun. They rode horses for the first time and got very nice presents,” said one of the parents.

For one 3 year old girl, she was experiencing it all for the first time. She was a little apprehensive when first walking up to Santa, but was soon comfortably sitting on his lap taking a picture. Her mother said that this was her first time meeting Santa and in fact, her first time receiving a Christmas present.

This was her first time receiving presents, celebrating Christmas and meeting Santa Claus.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers raised funds and got toys donated specifically for this event. The Volunteer Ministers were founded in 1977 by the Founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.

“In addition to their day to day assistance to their neighbors, the Volunteer Ministers contribute their time every year to help provide kids with a Christmas they might not be able to have,” said Dylan Pires, the Community Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology. “The Scientology Volunteer Ministers are an organization specializing in disaster response and Scientology assist technology.”

Santa Claus visited the children at 4:00pm and every kid picked a toy to take with them. Close to 150 toys were given out.

“We are very happy to be able to help these families in need,” said Mr.  Pires. “Everyone is entitled to have an amazing Christmas that they can enjoy as a family.”

About the Church of Scientology:

The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 165 nations. Scientologists are optimistic about life and believe there is hope for a saner world and better civilization, and actively do all they can to help achieve this. The Church of Scientology regularly engages in many humanitarian programs, such as anti-drug campaigns, human rights campaigns and global education programs. To learn more, visit

Kids Day at Clearwater's Winter Wonderland

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