Coral Bay Christmasn

Dawn McCandless, the new owner of Pickles on St. John, left, Sharon Coldren, president of Coral Bay Community Council, Dr. Bob DeBonis, as Santa, Pat Richards, founder of the Dynamic Dancers, and Lucia Francis helped distribute children’s gifts, turkeys and hams for the holidays.

ST. JOHN — Despite coronavirus restrictions, the Coral Bay Community Council was still able to share the holiday spirit with children and families within the community.

“Not even COVID concerns could stop Santa from coming to Coral Bay this year, in many forms,” said Sharon Coldren, president of the Coral Bay Community Council. “Our holiday traditions surrounding Christmas time are about sharing, caring and togetherness.”

Coral Bay parents were asked in advance what their children would like for Christmas, up to $50. The council then asked members and supporters to play Santa by fulfilling a child’s wish list.

“The ‘Santas’ responded and CBCC gave each one a child’s Christmas list, and before we knew it, the packages started pouring in, and Santa’s elves got everything here by Christmas Eve, just in time for Santa to deliver,” said Michelle Bransom, the CBCC office manager, who kept track of all the incoming presents and made sure no child was left out.

Along with the gifts, Pickles in Paradise also donated hams and turkeys for Christmas dinners. In total, the group gave gifts and food for the holidays to 52 families, including 83 children in Coral Bay.