By Agnes CONSTANTE
To ensure a joyous holiday for disabled men and women, a Montrose resident is hosting a “Christmas Party” on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Healy Hall at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
Grace Chase, the event coordinator, has a sister with autism who took part in two programs for adults with disabilities: The Pioneers, a program in Pasadena, and Tierra Del Sol, located in Sun Valley.
Chase’s father, Vito Cannella, began holding Christmas parties for adults with disabilities about 38 years ago.
“My father felt that this was a ‘forgotten’ part of the population during the holidays and that many of these special people lived in group homes and might not experience many, if any, Christmas celebrations,” she said.
Chase became involved in planning and coordinating these parties about 10 years ago. Three groups – Tierra Del Sol, The Pioneers and residents of group homes in the Glendale Association for the Retarded – are invited to the event. There are typically 80 to 100 attendees each year ranging in age from 18 to 70.
Guests are served lunch, are entertained by performances and receive gift bags, which are donated by the community.
“It’s an afternoon sure to warm their heart,” Chase said.
Anyone interested in donating a new, wrapped gift for a man or woman is welcome to do so. Donations can be dropped off at the Holy Redeemer Church or Montrose Barber Shop on Ocean View Boulevard.
Interested donors may also contact Chase for a pick up at (818) 248-4009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.