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Dec 19, 2018

A Lakers-style Christmas for the Kids of Lake-I

In the Lake Independence area of the city, businessman James Young and Glenda Trapp Johnston today hosted their annual Christmas party for the children of the area. Johnston has been visiting from the United States for over a decade, primarily for the Christmas party. She teamed up with Young to make the season a merry one for hundreds of youths whose Christmas would not have been as joyful. News Five’s Isani Cayetano headed to Lawrence Avenue for the event.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Several hundred children across Lake Independence converged on Lawrence Avenue today for the annual Lakers Christmas party.  It’s a community initiative led by businessman James Young that has become a staple in this part of the neighborhood.


James Young

James Young, Proprietor, Lakers Mini-Mart

“We have catered for four hundred children this year, but as you see it’s almost five hundred this year.  But we always have extra too, so I think we have enough for everybody, I hope.”


With help from a dear friend who visits Belize annually, just for the sake of this children’s party, they have been able to provide food and entertainment, as well as gifts to these kids.  Many of them come from a challenging background and the initiative to light up their holiday goes a long way.


Glenda Trapp-Johnson

Glenda Trapp-Johnson, Sponsor

“This was a dream that Mister and Misses Young had and, as friends, I came home one day, I came to visit one year and she told me her dream and so I decided that it was time to make a dream become a reality and each year it gets bigger and bigger, as you can see.  This year is the biggest we’ve ever had and I hope that one day we could at least serve maybe a thousand kids.”


With Christmastime being all about the children, there were lots to do at the party.


James Young

“What we’re doing this year is face painting; we’re doing the playing of games for the kids.  We just want everybody to have a nice time, that’s the idea for this event, just for everybody to be merry, okay.  What I would want is to let this thing go up to a thousand kids if I could, but time will tell on that.  But right now, all I want is for love and peace and for everybody to enjoy themselves right about now.”


And that is exactly what they did.  While some were seated under the tents, others stood in line waiting to be served.  Catering to them is a sense of gratification that, for Glenda Trapp-Johnson, can hardly be described.


Glenda Trapp-Johnson

“It’s very satisfying for me.  It makes me feel so good inside my heart because Belize is where I came from and Belize is where I will always be.  I don’t enjoy no other vacation, but when I come to Belize.  I’ve lived in the States for almost forty-nine years, but I never enjoy nowhere else I go except for when I come to Belize.”


Isani Cayetano

“Describe the feeling and the light in these kids eyes when they get their gifts, when they come to the party and they look forward to it on an annual basis.”


Glenda Trapp-Johnson

“It’s a feeling that is indescribable.  It’s like seeing children so happy, sometimes it makes me want to cry, to see so many kids being so happy and so it makes me want to work even harder to make more kids happy.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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