Santa Barbara families were all smiles Wednesday night as they enjoyed a meal and a visit from Santa Claus during the 12th Annual Police Activities League Holiday Dinner.
The Cabrillo Arts Pavilion was crowded with 60 families, all referred by Title I schools, according to PAL Executive Director Laurie Parker.
After tacos and tamales, every child in the room got a gift off their list from Santa. With 150 participants this year — due to above-average referrals from schools and other agencies — PAL’s tradition has outgrown its venue.
“We had to turn some people away,” Parker said. “We had a waiting list this year just because of the venue; it reached capacity.”
Next year, PAL plans to get a bigger space for the annual dinner, she said.
Santa Barbara’s PAL provides programs for local children and teens, including after-school sports, Youth Leadership Council, Campership Alliance and Police Explorers.