EGG HARBOR CITY - The Latino Club of Egg Harbor City hosted a Three Kings Day celebration Saturday with toys for children and a delicious feast.
As the first snowfall of the year blanketed the area, families made their way to city hall where children found a pile of toys. Each child carefully perused the toys determined to pick the best one. They searched through a variety of remote control cars, dolls, train sets, science sets, balls and more.
The gifts were donated to the Latino Club of EHC by the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program and Toys for Kids, an effort led by retired Atlantic County Corrections officer Greg Depiano.
“We are very fortunate to have their support,” said Dennis Munoz, founder and president of the Latino Club of EHC.
“We always have nice toys for the children to pick from,” said club member Hazel Mueller.
The annual event is more than a cultural celebration, said Munoz. It is an effort to support the community. While the event was hosted by the Latino Club, he said everyone was welcome, especially those who are struggling financially and would benefit from some extended holiday cheer.
“We want everybody to come and get a toy to make the kids feel good,” said Munoz. “When you see them smile, it makes it all worth it.”
The celebration continued with a dinner at the Local 331 Union Hall on Philadelphia Avenue. The Three Kings made a special appearance as visitors enjoyed an evening of food, dancing and fun. A basket auction also was held, and toys that were left over from the afternoon toy distribution were given to children at the dinner. “We want everyone to leave happy,” said Munoz. Guests were even invited to take an extra plate of food home.
“It’s awesome. It’s great for the kids to have an extra celebration,” said Chrisann Holman of Egg Harbor City. “They get really excited to come out and get an extra gift after Christmas, but the best part is the dinner.”
Her children love the basket auction at the dinner. They choose which baskets to take a chance on and then they anxiously wait to see if their numbers are called. “They love it,” said Holman.