Chiles Group bringing holiday joy to underprivileged kids

AM Chiles Christmas
A pirate-themed bounce house will be on hand for Wednesday's holiday event. - Tom Vaught | Sun

ANNA MARIA – The 24th annual Lawton Chiles Christmas for Kids Party will take place at the Sandbar restaurant in Anna Maria on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the day will be filled with fun, laughter and good old-fashioned holiday cheer for local underprivileged children. And this year’s event coincides with the 20th anniversary of the passing of former Florida governor and Chiles family patriarch Lawton Chiles.

The Sandbar will host families from the Head Start Early Rise and Shine program in Bradenton and the RCMA non-profit child development center in Palmetto. Each child will receive an outfit of clothing, a pair of shoes, an age-appropriate toy and a Publix voucher for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

The event will be held in the Sandbar’s wedding pavilion and popular characters like Elmo, Woody, Sponge Bob and Dora will be stopping by. There will be a pirate ship-themed bounce house, face painting and a craft area where the kids will make their own ornaments. A healthy lunch will be served, and Santa Claus will of course pay a visit.

The Sandbar is still accepting cash donations to assist with these charitable efforts that bring joy to children and families in need. Contributions can be made by sending a check payable to the Sandbar Restaurant to P.O. Box 1478 Anna Maria, Fl. 34216. Please note on the check that it’s for the Kids Christmas Party.

The Chiles Group thanks those who have generously given in the past and to those who have done so this year. Those who donate to this year’s event are invited to stop by the restaurant Wednesday until 3 p.m. to enjoy a complimentary lunch entree and to see for themselves the joy on the children’s faces.

“Lawton and Rhea (Chiles) had a vision and a heart for children and thanks to you their legacy lives on,” says the support letter sent to potential donors.

For more information, please contact Ashley Chiles, at 941-713-8707 or email her at [email protected]