It's one of the best kept secrets in town.
Since 1993, The CT Forum's Annual Hartford Children's Holiday Party has connected people across geographic, economic, social and racial divides to bring joy to children who might not otherwise experience a festive holiday.
On Monday, December 14th, dozens of volunteers from national corporations, local businesses, schools and towns - including 100 Connecticut high school students from the CT YOUTH Forum - welcomed nearly 300 Hartford elementary school students to the Hartford Marriott Downtown for an afternoon filled with crafts, food, gifts and entertainment.
Guided by adults and escorted by CT YOUTH Forum members dressed as elves, small groups of wide-eyed children explored every corner of the Marriott's grand ballroom. They decorated picture frames and gingerbread cookies, and created hand-made ornaments and other treasures.
With goodie bags in hand and colorful balloon hats on their heads, they feasted on a lavish buffet of kid-friendly fare, and even went back for seconds before waiting their turn to greet Santa and receive gifts. And guess what? Santa's beard was as real and genuine as the smiles that stretched across their painted faces.
In a season fraught with hardship and need, this was a special day indeed - not only for the children chosen by their teachers and principals to attend this celebration, but for the volunteers and sponsors who were able to experience firsthand some true holiday magic.
The Connecticut Forum gratefully acknowledges Aetna, Inc., the Target Corporation, the Hartford Marriott Downtown and our other generous sponsors for making this event possible.
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If you would like to learn more about volunteer or sponsorship opportunities for The CT Forum's Annual Hartford Children's Holiday Party, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.