Christmas in The Park Has Record Turnout


The economy is one reason organizers say this year's Christmas in the Park brought out a record 20,000 people this year. 

The annual giveaway allows participants to receive free toys, bikes, groceries and other items for the Christmas Holiday.

People began lining up outside the Automobile building at Fair Park in Dallas as early as 4 PM Friday afternoon.

Organizers said this was the largest turnout yet and they believe the economy is the reason for the increased participants this year.
"This has been a very hard year all the way round.  To see the unemployment rate and the foreclosures," said organizer S M Wright II.
The S.M. Wright Foundation has provided for the South Dallas-Fair Park community for years.  This year they increased from 300 to to 1,000 bikes to giveaway. 

They also distributed 1,000 beds for children, who Wright says wouldn't have a bed to sleep on, had it not been for donors. 
Stacy Brooks says this is her first year having to sign up for assistance for Christmas and is grateful the foundation exist.
"This is made a tremendous difference for the kids to be able to come in to get a gift for them to show that they are someone special as well," said Brooks. "Losing my job and being in a stressful time of year you want to supply the things for you children that Christmas brings and when you can't do it makes you feel a little unworthy and kind of lost. So this really helps to bring back the enthusiasm of Christmas."

Former NFL player Eugene Lockhart passed out toys and joined thousands of volunteers. 

All participants were also given a meal before they left and got a chance to listen to Holiday and gospel songs.

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