Volunteers and officers from the Port Arthur Police Department came together at the Bob Bower Civic Center in Port Arthur on Friday, Dec. 20, to distribute toys and gifts to local families to help make their Christmas brighter. Blue Santa coordinators spent about $16,000 on gifts to assist close to 300 Port Arthur families during this holiday season.
The law firm of McPherson, Wimberley, Hughes, Bradley and Chatelain held a silent auction to raise funds for the Blue Santa program. Other contributors included local businesses and refineries in Port Arthur.
Detective Marcelo Molfino assisted with the Blue Santa event and grilled sausages, hot dogs and more for hungry attendees. Jefferson County Judge Bob Wortham handed out chips to young ones and their parents. Port Arthur Mayor Bobbie Prince also came out to show her support for the boys in blue and for the local children who benefit from the Blue Santa program.
Molfino said the program is important for local children who might not otherwise have gifts for Christmas, and the event allows children to get to know the officers in a fun setting.
“I think it’s important for the kids to see police in a positive light,” Molfino said. “They often only see us when we are out in neighborhoods doing our jobs, but here they get to see us as real people. We have kids and families, and we’re human too. It helps the community, and volunteers like the Boy Scouts come out here and are able to interact with children from the community. It’s just a great event all around.”