Photo: Boys and Girls Club members, along with Salvation Army personnel, employees from Printpack Inc., and Rotary Club members share a smile at the Christmas party held recently at the Salvation Army in Orange. RECORD Photo: Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers

For the Record

It was hard to tell if the grown-ups or the youngsters were wearing bigger grins.

At the Boys and Girls Club Christmas Party held at the Salvation Army, about 30 students in the after-school program received Christmas presents and a pizza party on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

“We used to bring ham,” said Steve Aguillard, plant manager at Printpack Inc. of Orange. “We found out the kids like pizza better.”

Employees at Printpack and members of the Rotary Club sponsored the annual party.

“A Printpack employee named Bim Morrow really got us into it about 25 years ago,” Aguillard said. “We enjoy doing this to give back to the community.”

Aguillard said the Boys and Girls Club typically has a list of 50 kids his workers buy presents for.

“The people at our plant take a tag, and then buy gifts,” he said. “One year, for whatever reason, our employees didn’t pick up a lot of tags, so we got Rotary involved.

“This year, our employees picked up 41 of 48 tags. That didn’t leave much for the Rotary Club.”

About 15 Printpack employees and Rotary members were at this year’s party, ready to serve food when the kids were through finding their packages under the Christmas tree.

But while they waited, many took photos of the happy children. A teardrop or two might have fallen as they watched wide smiles break out as youngsters ripped off the wrapping papers and expressed thanks for their gifts.

The Christmas party was just one of the Christmas holiday activities overseen by the Salvation Army, which sponsors Boys and Girls Club locally.

The Service League’s Toy Coffee collects toys and its members then match them with Christmas lists compiled by qualifying families who might not have a complete Christmas otherwise.

They distribute the toys to about 300 children.

The Angel Tree program is another Yuletide staple for the Salvation Army.

International Paper employees provided toys for 85 of the 325 children served by the Angel Tree program, said Capt. Frankie Zuniga.

Food packages, including turkeys, were available for the children’s families.

“We have a very generous community and we’ve seen it this year with the gifts they’re bringing,” Zuniga said.