Photos: Christmas for the Children

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CLF Founder and President Maria D’Angelo gives longtime CLF Santa (Mark Lederkramer) a hug.

Christmas came almost one week early for children and their families at the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation (CLF) Celebration of Family Holiday Bash and Fundraiser, which took place Malibu West Beach Club on Saturday. LA’s BEST students from low-income Los Angeles Unified School District schools joined the festivities which included Conejo Photo Booth donated by Jane Coccia, face painting by Dea and Brent Hunter, and arts and crafts provided by Malibu local Ali Thonson. Children created sock snowmen, light-up votives, holiday bags to decorate, and more. A barbecue picnic was served outdoors, overlooking the ocean.

Alex Fields and the Fields Family Foundation fully sponsored the day. Fields received CLF’s Angel of the Year Award for his work with the foundation.

A surprise visit from Santa added to the festivities. Santa handed out big bags filled with toys and surprises to each child. Many locals provided toys and gifts to fill the children’s Christmas bags.

“These CLF holiday events have been a part of our Project Angel Wings Program for 23 years,” CLF Founder and President Maria D’Angelo shared. “Several holiday events are created each December, and toys are donated through local JAKKs Pacific, Juan Cabrillo, Point Dume Marine Science and Webster Elementary schools, as well as Yahoo, Action-Agape, and other great local organizations and companies.”

Musicians donated their time, CDs, and T-shirts. Performances for the day included Jesse Pruett and Parker Theory, Brandon and Savannah Hudson of The Heirs, Mariachi singer Karla Carillo, singer Jonathon Forrester, and Malibu local Ren Farren and her bandmates — Alex Pachino and Brian Jones.

Farren, who has known D’Angelo since she was a baby, said she was happy to donate her time.

“Maria and my mother have been friends for decades now, and my mom has done work with the foundation in the past, so it is a cause very dear to her heart, and now to mine,” Farren explained. “It was absolutely wonderful to be able to perform for the children, it meant so much to me to get to be a part of this amazing day.”

“It is so wonderful to see the kids faces each year, each receiving a huge bag of toys from our friends,” D’Angelo said. “I see all of the hours of work our volunteers and staff have put into making these children happy, and looking around the room at many of my lifelong friends — almost all who have I have met in Malibu — was just such a great joy for me.”