Charity organizations team up for surprise Christmas event

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SALT LAKE CITY — Three organizations that help troubled or underprivileged youth in Salt Lake had a chance to make their kids' holiday Tuesday night, special thanks to a surprise they won't soon forget.

The night started with kids from the Boys and Girls Club, the Dream Center and Youth Impact filling the Gallivan Center and getting quite a treat: a pizza dinner — something that doesn't happen very often for these kids.

"This is an actual treat for them to just actually be able to get out and have pizza for the evening," said Joe Timmons, with Harley Davidson of Salt Lake.

That was just the beginning. The Jazz Bear really got the party started, and the next surprise was new winter coats. Old St. Nick himself even got in on the action.

By the minute, the kids' eyes filled with excitement, but the meaning of what was about to happen was felt by everyone.

"To see all these kids, who otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas like this — it just tears at your heart strings to think that we have 250 homeless kids around this valley, and what a great opportunity it is to be a part of giving them something so meaningful," said Wendel Burt, with Burt Brothers Tire & Service.

Finally, with a full stomach and a warm heart, they were ready for the biggest surprise of the night: new bicycles for everyone, 250 in all. The true spirit of the holidays filled the air.

KSL, through the Utah Food Bank, also took part in a canned food drive at the Gallivan Center Tuesday night. We got a huge turnout.


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Andrew Wittenberg


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