A Not So Silent Night: SAAAC’s 2nd Annual Christmas Celebration Review
December 11, 2011 saw the celebration of SAAAC’s 2nd Annual Christmas Party. It has been a yearly tradition at SAAAC to bring together the families we serve, volunteers, and generous community members to celebrate the holidays as a community. “It’s a function I look forward to the most” says Executive Director Geetha Moorthy. “It’s a very intimate gathering of all the people that have made SAAAC a success throughout the year and this celebration is a token of appreciate to all of them.”
The festivities began with an energetic group of SAAAC volunteers, parents, and members of the community singing Christmas carols. Accompanied by Bina Boo, local rising vocal star, on violin the group infused the room with the holiday spirit. Next, there was the unveiling of SAAAC’s Portraits of Autism campaign, which illustrated the personal stories of SAAAC’s families. “The purpose of this campaign was to take an intimate look at the families involved with SAAAC. We wanted to tell their stories and struggles, and it was an absolute privilege to get across these intimate moments to the larger public,” says SAAAC President Jonathan Bertram. There was also a “Year in Review” presentation, which saw the development of SAAAC throughout the year of 2011-2012 through images and videos.
Then came the portion of the festivity that had all of the young and some of the old excited. Boisterous, jolly, and humorous Santa Claus emerged with presents for the kids in attendance. As is the case with all children, some were eagerly anticipating Santa’s presence while others were looking to get far away from St. Nick. It was a very exciting and a touching time for parents as many had pulled out cameras and smart phones, looking to capture such precious moments.
As the night wore down there was a potluck dinner along with games that saw volunteers play musical chairs and husbands dress up in sarees, with the help of their wives, to put on a fashion show. These moments of laughter and openness illustrated the progress SAAAC has made in engaging families and providing a supportive environment for them.
“It was an absolutely great event. To celebrate the holidays with a great group of people and to see a community supporting a great cause is what I think the Christmas spirit is all about,” said Program Director Neeran Kuni.
As the night neared its end, Geetha Moorthy had her eyes set for SAAAC’s next big event. “This year’s SAAAC Radiant Night Gala will be our biggest yet. We are expecting 1200 attendees. I guess it’s time to get ready for that” she said with a huge smile. Hosted on March 3rd at the Scarborough Convention Centre, SAAAC Radiant Night Gala Dinner & Dance will be SAAAC’s major fundraising event of the year. If you are interested in attending, contact 416-824-8847 for details.