BASSETT – Sheriff’s deputies and Explorer Scouts teamed with Bassett High School and a La Puente restaurant owner to provide a day of traditional holiday fun, as well as gifts, to more than 400 local residents Friday.
The Winter Fiesta treated local families to sled rides and other entertainment, free gifts of clothing and toys, a free lunch and more at Bassett High School, Lt. Pete Cacheiro of the Sheriff’s Industry Station said.
The event was conceived when Suzie Perez, owner of El Campechano Grill in La Puente, approached Cacheiro and Code Enforcement Officer Dan Rodriguez and asked about helping with a community event, the lieutenant said.
Bassett High School officials offered up the campus for the event, while Perez provided food, drinks and desserts to all those who attended, as well as rides including sled rides and a jumper, organizers said.
Deputies and Explorer Scouts solicited donations from companies including Quiksilver, Roxy, DC and Mattel, Cacheiro said. The items were given as gifts to elated children.
The Chino-based nonprofit Isaiah’s Rock brought bags of food for the families, as Bassett Unified School District Martin Galindo played the part of Santa Claus.
“It was better than expected,” Perez said. “Everyone played a part.”
“I had a great time,” Perez added. “I was very glad to see the families interacting with each other.”
While her family traditionally takes part in holiday giving, often feeding the homeless in Downtown Los Angeles, Perez said this year, she decided to do something for local families as well.
“I walk around and I see all these kids that are depressed,” she said. “They need something.There’s a lot of needy families.”
With the success of Friday’s Winter Fiesta, Perez said she hopes to do it again next year.
PHOTOS from Bassett Winter Fiesta on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.