Peoria Unified School District members, local business owners and Peoria Chamber of Commerce representatives joined together on Dec. 12 to celebrate the holiday season and provide joy to a group of local students and their loved ones in need.
The Chamber met at its office, in association with the local Huntington University campus, to “adopt” 40 families of Peoria Unified School District students for the holidays. The students were given gifts and support in what can be a difficult part of the year for some.
“We got assigned the students from the district,” said Justeena Duke, Chamber event coordinator. “At the chamber we want to do things like this to give back. For me personally it just feels good to be able to help.”
Decorations included typical holiday fair such as festive trees, wreaths and lights, filling the area that had activities like decorating custom cookies and gaining information on local businesses who had set up booths.
Huntington University hosted Christmas movies on big screens for kids indoors. A local rock band played a set to promote the cause.
In the celebration of both Christmas and fun, the star of the show was a pair of miniature horses dressed up in festive costumes.
“They are seriously so cute. I love them,” Duke said.
While there was no estimate given on the final number of gifts or the amount of money raised for the families, the event was a success for all parties involved.
As Peoria continues its growth, both the chamber and district hope to have a friendly partnership for years to come.
“We’re part of this community, and we appreciate what the district does for the kids here,” said Chamber President Scot Andrews. “So, we are looking forward to working together again.”