Mischievous Minions, the stars of Universal Studios Hollywood’s all-new and very popular 3D Ultra-HD ride, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” joined a tropically-clad Santa Claus and hundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood employee volunteers to bring springtime holiday cheer to over 1,000 MEND low income family members as part of its 23rd annual “Christmas in Spring” event held at MEND – Meet Each Need with Dignity (10641 San Fernando Rd, Pacoima, CA 91331), on Saturday, May 31.
The “Christmas in Spring” charity event is sponsored by Universal Studios Hollywood’s philanthropic Discover A Star Foundation and is designed to offer less fortunate families the chance to enjoy a fun outing during a time of year when the needs of the families are often overlooked.
This year’s “Christmas in Spring” program included a mouthwatering menu custom prepared by Universal Studios Hollywood’s award-winning Executive Chef, Eric Kopelow, and served by employee volunteers. In keeping with Universal Studios Hollywood’s ongoing “Wellness” initiative, the feast featured 600 pounds of skinless chicken, 600 pounds of vegetables, 600 pounds of salad, 4,000 fresh strawberries and freshly baked bite-size chocolate chip cookies.
Families supported by MEND enjoyed an afternoon of interactive festivities comprised of carnival games, face painters, a live DJ and entertainment from singer/songwriter and CityWalk star Street Performer, Megan Arial. A keepsake family photo opportunity with the Minions, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Dora and Diego from “Dora the Explorer,” Beetlejuice and Santa Claus added to the springtime special celebration. Children were also treated to giveaways including a large plush Minion toy and a book of their choice.
In the spirit of paying it forward, Discover a Star grant recipient organization, A Window Between Worlds, also provided an arts and crafts station. The non-profit organization is dedicated to using art as a healing tool to empower and transform individuals and communities impacted by violence and trauma. Through creative expression, battered women and children recover a sense of renewal and independence. Their images of hope, survival and strength educate the public and become “a window between worlds” for survivors taking steps to change their lives.
All photos courtesy of Moses Sparks for Universal Studios Hollywood.
Theme Park Adventure salutes Universal Studios Hollywood and its team for such important and heartwarming community outreach programs such as this. It’s important to remember that besides being the premier tourism attraction in Los Angeles, Universal Studios Hollywood is comprised of men and women that are giving, concerned, and do much more throughout our community than operate a theme park and studio.
TPAers, what do you think of Universal’s Christmas in Spring program? Share your thoughts with other fans below!