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Early Christmas for local families Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Dec 18 2010 12:00 PM

Twenty-three Chula Vista families participated Dec. 11 in the sixth annual Breakfast with Santa event at Chula Vista High School, created by the Chula Vista Kiwanis Club .

For the last six years, Kiwanis has helped provide a Christmas for 20 to 30 families in Chula Vista.

Scott Woodward is the principal at Rosebank Elementary School and a member of the Kiwanis Club. Woodward coordinates all of the families for this event.

"It's a nice way to bring a little joy in the holiday season to some families who otherwise might not have this opportunity," Woodward said.

Gonzalo Vasquez, 16, is a junior at Hilltop High School and was a sponsored teen. "I think it's a good event because it gives kindness to people who are less fortunate," he said.

Guillermo Mata is also a 16-year-old junior at Hilltop High School who was sponsored for the event. "It's a good event because it gives others who are fortunate a chance to participate in the community and help out those who are less fortunate," he said.

Woodward has been involved four years and coordinated the families for each school.

Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox and her family have been involved in Christmas with Santa for the last four years. "It's like a family reunion," Cox said. Husband San Diego Supervisor Greg Cox and daughters Emily, 27, and Elizabeth, 30, arrived at 6:30 a.m. to flip some 500 pancakes.

Mark Rogers is a member of the Chula Vista Kiwanis Club. Rogers was the president last year and has been involved in the event for six years. "It's worthwhile and wonderful to meet families who need help and also to provide some presents," he said. "It's just fun and rewarding."

The Star-News also helped sponsor 14 families this year by providing dozens of children and teens with clothes, shoes and toys.

Jo Delgadillo helped select and wrap presents.

"The opportunity to participate in shopping and wrapping gifts was an honor, knowing that it would bring joy to Chula Vista families," she said.

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