Despite challenges from the COVID pandemic, the Wellesley Police Department hosted our annual, (modified) Wellesley Housing Authority Holiday and Christmas party in December.
The party is put on for children living in Wellesley Housing Authority residences. Normally, the party occurs at the Wellesley Police Station, and features food, entertainment, presents, along with a visit from a very busy Santa Claus. With the advent of COVID-19, the department shifted to a mobile operation in 2020, and brought the party to the Wellesley Housing Authority in the form of a parade and gift deliveries.
The 2021 party was enhanced and improved, and featured a parade, with Santa riding on a fire truck escorted by a long line of police cruisers. Each family then got a chance to meet and take a photo with Santa in a socially distant and COVID-19 responsible way. Pizza, hot chocolate, and of course, a present were provided to everyone!
Wellesley Police Officer Travis Dixon coordinates the annual event with help from Wellesley Housing Deputy Director Jacqueline Sullivan. Prior to the party, Officer Dixon collected donated gifts and got them all wrapped, as well as handling all the logistics of the event. Sergeant Brian Spencer, Officer Kathy Poirier, Officer Tana DiCenso with Comfort Care Dog Winnie, Officer Mark Knapp, Officer Brian Collins (wearing a very unique red and white suit), Officer Mark DeBernardi, Officer Stephen Gaffney, and Sergeant Mike Lemenager all helped make big contributions to ensure everyone was happy during the party.
As always, the party and Santa was very popular with the children and a resounding success, even with the COVID-19 precautions.