The inaugural Holiday with a Hero took over the north-end Walmart Saturday morning and the emergency vehicle procession that followed made sure everyone around knew.
Holiday with a Hero partnered 76 children in need with staff and volunteers from the area’s emergency services (OPP, CFB Borden personnel, Barrie police, Barrie firefighters and Simcoe County paramedics) to buy gifts for the families of the children.
After shopping, the children got onto buses as part of an emergency vehicle procession to a morning of activities, gift wrapping and a pancake breakfast at the YMCA on Grove Street.
Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood sat with her partnered kids Brooklyn and Colton and told BarrieToday how busy she has been running around the store.
“We have been here since 6 a.m. and it has been an amazing morning,” said Greenwood. “I was matched up with my little partner here (Brooklyn) and we picked up some gifts for her family members. We’ve just had a ton of fun together before heading out for breakfast.”
The event saw the United Way Simcoe/Muskoka team up with CFB Borden and Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions to bring it to Barrie for the first time.
Lt.-Col. Charleen Coulbeck is a representative for the board of directors for the United Way Simcoe/Muskoka and organized today’s event.
Coulbeck told BarrieToday that the first Barrie event was a success and hopes to make it even bigger next year.
“The event goes on around North America but it is our first one in this area,” said Coulbeck. “We have had a blast with this and the kids have definitely had so much fun. This is something that really benefits everyone involved.”
The emergency vehicle procession left the Walmart parking at 8:30 a.m. to head down Bayfield Street towards the YMCA breakfast and activities.