Friends First Celebrates the Season

Friends First Celebrates the Season

Our cafeteria was transformed into a magical winter wonderland as mentors, mentees, and family members gathered for our Friends First Christmas Party.

While festive music and holiday cheer filled the air, Friends First Director Tilisha Harrison kicked off the party by thanking those who made this event possible, especially the mentors.

We’d like to give a special thanks to our mentors, who show up and show out every other Saturday, and who go above and beyond even outside of those days,” Harrison said. “We really appreciate the work you put in with our kids.”

Throughout the day, guests participated in a variety of holiday activities by visiting beautifully decorated stations. Youth were able to create goodie bags of candy canes and other tasty treats at the Sweet Shop, pick out new hats and gloves at the Winter Wonder Wear station, decorate Christmas ornaments and cookies, enjoy hot chocolate with whipped cream, and have their faces painted.

Next, everybody moved up to our gymnasium to enjoy a special performance by Nunufatima, an African dance company dedicated to the preservation of African and African American diaspora dance.

Our goal is to put on professional shows and to edu-tain people, versus just entertain,” said Regina Perry-Carr, the director at Nunufatima. “So that people of the diaspora can start to reconnect with roots that either they may not have known that they had, or just are learning about culture.”

The performances by Nunufatima included dances from Guinea and Mali, and at the end guests had a chance to join in and learn and participate in some dances themselves.

Guests then returned to the cafeteria to enjoy a delicious lunch as well as a visit from Santa Claus! Everybody not only had a chance to get their picture with Santa, but both mentees and mentors received special gifts as well! It was a truly magical way to start the holiday season, and we are so grateful for those who came out to join us. We want to send a special thank you to members of our associate board who came out to volunteer. Happy holidays!

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