Autism in Long Beach celebrated its 3rd annual Angel Holiday Party on Sunday at Grace United Methodist Church in Long Beach.
Families and friends of children and siblings with Autism enjoyed three hours of holiday feasting, toy give-aways and joyous fun that included a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and a very special international celebrity guest — 80s reggae singer Pato Banton with singer and fiancé Antoinette.
Pato Banton who will begin touring Jan. 3 throughout Southern and Northern California and Brazil helped hand out toys and games to kids as well as taking some time to pose for photographs with fans and with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
"This coming Jan. 1, 2014 we will be doing a new music video at Muscle Beach in Venice Beach at noon," says Pato.
"Everyone and anyone can come and join in. Just wear your reggae clothes'.
Playing Santa and Mrs. Claus is 73 year old Bob Campbell of Cypress [aka Harley Santa Bob] and his wife of 48 years, 68 year old Phyllis Campbell.
"We have been doing this for the past eight years and it never gets old", Campbell said as he smiled and stayed in Santa Character.
"Bob's long hair and beard is real", says Phyllis Campbell. "Although we do die his hair because it is all gray".
Jane Tipton, CEO and Founder of Autism in Long Beach and her assistant Janet Sainz along with the help of volunteers, established The Angel Holiday Program to help bring together the families of children and siblings with Autism — as a way to form understanding, and create new bonds and friendships within the community.
Special thanks goes out to Pato Banton, Antoinette, Santa and Mrs. Claus and all the dedicated volunteers.
With sponsor recognition going out to the following: WY Enterprises, Keystone Engineering, La Strada Italian Restaurant for their delicious meals, Redemption Car Club, QRCodeID, LB Skate and Daniel & Chad Timtim.