Mankowski's 30th Annual Holiday Party Supports Families and Kids
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - On Saturday, December 14th, the 30th annual Mankowski Holiday Party for Kids took place at Murphy Elementary School.
Hundreds of families showed up and enjoyed holiday activities like listening to Christmas songs, meeting Santa Claus and choosing toys. Families also took home some venison and elk meat and kids took home brand new coats.
The Meridian Township Police and Fire Departments, representatives from local businesses like Launch Trampoline Park and Okemos High School students were in attendance. Olive Garden and Jet's Pizza provided food during the event.
Gayelord Mankowski has been organizing this event for 30 years and started this event after being inspired by his dad.
"After 30 years, I enjoy, you see kids coming to the toy room, obviously, but I do have a lot of respect for the parents who bring the kids, you know maybe they are having tough times or not in a position where they can provide a good Christmas."
Mankowski also enjoyed seeing younger officers from the Meridian Township Police Department and officers from the Michigan State and Lansing Police Departments come together and show support.
Meridian Township Police Lieutenant Rick Grillo helped the Mankowski family with organizing this event and shared what this event meant to him and the community.
"I look forward to this day every year because there's so many kids, so many smiling faces, so many very appreciative and grateful people for what we do here, and honestly the kids, it's just a blast to watch them have fun."
The Mankowski family and Meridian Township looks forward to organizing this event next year. Next year, the event will be called Santa's First Responders.