Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Toys for Tot's and Christmas Caroling

December is off and running.  I started off the month by celebrating my 34th birthday on the 1st of the month and getting ready for another busy weekend of appearances and family gatherings.  My Saturday started off with the US Marine's Toys for Tots Foundation.  They were sponsoring a huge Toy Drive at Knotts Berry Farm in Orange County California.  For the donation of a $15 toy you got free admission to the park.  This is an annual event that draws in folks from everywhere seeking a day of enjoyment at the park and a chance to donate to the less fortunate.  This was my second year participating in this event and I was joined by some of my pageant sisters from Gold Coast Pageants.  After spending a fun day in the park riding rides, watching snoopy on ice and the Christmas Parade, it was time to move to my next journey.  My final stop for the night was at my Uncle's retirement party.  After 34 years of service he is retiring from the Los Angeles County Probation Department, whom I still work for.  My mother and grandmother have also been Probation officers as well.  Between the 4 of us we have given Los Angeles County well over 100 years of service.  Can you imagine how many lives we have touched and how many at risk children's lives we have made a difference in?

Sunday morning I was up bright and early taking Bianca to compete at the Gold Coast Christmas Pageant.  Not only did she win her division, holiday wear and a few optionals we even meet Travis Barker the drummer from blink 182 and his ex-wife Shana Moakler Miss Teen USA 1992 and Miss USA 1995 whose daughters were competing as well.

After a quick stop at another family gathering our final destination was at the 29th Annual Holiday Caroling Festivities in Canoga Park.  Over 200 carolers gathered at 4 retirement homes to bring holiday entertainment to the residents, staff and caregivers.  Not only did the carolers include girl scouts, boy scouts, various celebrities, politicians, Santa Claus, elves, and more but also some of our 4 legged friends (therapy dogs).  Check out the list of just a few of the celebrities in attendance below. We had a ball singing what seemed like every Christmas song every written, we even sang Feliz Navidad and Hanukkah songs.  I was also a featured celebrity with a group of professional Opera singers singing  "Ave Maria".  At some of the homes we had a full live band even including violin's, harps, guitars, keyboards, drums and more.  So you know we were treated to a good old jam session as well as songs lead by some famous voices including the lady that sings in all of the Toyota commercials.  Bianca was the youngest caroler in attendance and she donned a special Santa's helper outfit to match mommy.  The residents got a kick out of seeing her and yes she did sing along.  For being only 2 years old she did a good job even though I think she was singing "tinkerbell" in instead of "jingle bells", but hey who could tell the difference!

Alex Del Zoppo & Fred Herrera-Original members of Sweetwater Band from Woodstock
Carl Verheyen-World acclaimed guitarist for Supertramp and “The Carl Verheyen Band”
Don Peake-Musicians Hall of Fame member, guitarist- Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Jackson 5
Florence LaRue-six-time Grammy winner and original member of The 5th Dimension
Prescott Niles-bassist of “The Knack” performed #1 hit “My Sharona”
Mike Pinera-guitarist Iron Butterfly, Alice Cooper, Blues Image with hit “Ride Captain Ride”
Patricia Zappa-Singer/author of My Brother was a Mother: A Zappa Family Album
Patrick Waskielis-Drummer w/Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds w/Billboards #1 & #4 singles
Kevin Jones-Keyboard player Ozzy Osbourne
Sheree “Sheryl” Green-Adams -Original Mickey Mouse Club Mousketeer
Trey Carlisle-actor portrays “Earl Jr.” on TV series “My Name is Earl”
Alan O'Day-Pop-singer/artist of the #1 hit "Under Cover Angel,",

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