Thank You To All Our Volunteers and Donors who Made the 2015 Homeboy Holiday Party a Huge Sucess! 2015 Homeboy Industries trainee and children'S Holiday Party, WEDNESDay, December 23, 11am - 1pm.

Wednesday, December 23 - What a Day! Many thanks to all our volunteers and donors who helped bring smiles to 500+ Homeboy Trainees and their kids at the Second Annual Holiday Party. Gensler Los Angeles and Stanford alum volunteers coordinated the efforts of 50+ Loyola High, LMU, and Notre Dame Academy HS students to deliver a wide variety of activities and games for the trainees and the their kids. Gensler volunteers included Jim Oswald, Audrey Handelman, Silvia Morales, Julia Acosta, Mai Vo, Rebecca Kinchen, Kathleen and Jason Sampang, Gil Castillon, James Lee and Anne Malloy, and Kevin Rohani.

Top, the Gensler LA team; bottom, Audrey Handelman and Kathleen Sampang and Santa; middle, James Lee and Anne Malloy; right, Homeboy Founder/Executive Director Fr. Greg Boyle and Jim Oswald

Accompanied by their Director of Community Service Tom Zeko and their theology teacher Tom Cendejas, 50 Loyola High School students (Jim's alma mater) and their parents and friends helped staff the Arts and Crafts tables and the basketball/soccer stations. Accenture volunteers were on hand to assist with the delivery of toys they helped to gather. Steve Reilly and RPM Mortgage generously donated 50+ children's gifts for the CakeWalk. Todd Handelsman and Jonathan Mark of PMK-BNC donated two boxes of lightly-used Samsung tablets, phones and watches for CakeWalk prizes. Herb and Cynthia and several staff from the Homeboy Bakery provided tasty cookie and cake treats for the CakeWalk activity led by Audrey Handelman and Kathleen Sampang. DJ Swagmaster Gil Castellon, Rebecca Kinchen and Julie Acosta provided music throughout the day.

Homeboy trainees and their families were treated to tacos and all the fixins' before enjoying the arts and crafts tables and activity stations. . .and a chance to meet a very special guest ! Our donors' generous gifts helped to offset the cost of this wonderful Holiday spread.

Thanks to Herb and Cynthia in the Homeboy Bakery, the kids decorated (and maybe ate a few) sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.

And they also decorated picture frames with pictures from our photobooth and gave them to their parents as Christmas gifts.

Katy from Grace Entertainment created amazing face art on dozens of the kids and trainees - truly an artiste! She worked for three straight hours and must have painted 40 kids' faces. Our donors' holiday contributionswere directly responsible for bringing wide-eyed smiles to all of Katy's kids!

A roving magician left the kids in awe everywhere he went!

And the little kids (under 8 years old) got to take a few swings at the pinatas filled with lots of healthy goodies (okay, maybe just lots of great candy!).

Our donors' holiday gifts also allowed us to bring in soccer and basketball inflatable games which were a huge hit.

LA Genslerite Audrey Handelman led the very popular CakeWalk activity with lots of help from Gil Castillon, Kathleen Sampang and the Loyola High Students!

With more than 50+ toys donated by Steve Reilly at RPM Mortgage (Manhattan Beach), dozens of $20 gift cards provided by Carlos Herrera at IRS Demo, cakes and cookies donated by the Homeboy Bakery, and Samsung tablets and phones generously donated by PMK-BNC, the CakeWalk was hands down the most popular activity of the day!

Santa was on hand to pose with Fr. Greg and lots of trainees and their families. Our 2nd year volunteer photographer (Jason Bland) snapped scores of photos that will be uploaded to a flickr site so folks can download them for the holidays.

Thank you Louis Perez and the LA Gensler Office for lending the Santa Suit to Homeboy!
As you can see, the 2nd Annual Homeboy Trainee and Children's Holiday Party was a huge success. Our donors' generous contributions helped to bring tons of smiles and great joy to the young men and women (and their families) in the Homeboy 18 month training program. We have lots of new activities planned for our Third Annual Holiday Celebration: more face painters, nail artists, jewelry-making and Carnival Games for our older kids! Contact Jim @ 310.261.8415 or if you'd like to play a part!
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Jim Oswald

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