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The Pueblo West Metro District Parks and Recreation Department would like to thank our wonderful community for stepping up to the plate and giving back to their neighbors through the department’s annual food and toy drive. In coordination with local schools, the Parks Department provided support for families who live in Pueblo West who are encountering tough times.The five District 70 elementary schools in Pueblo West and Swallows Charter Academy collect canned goods for Thanksgiving and toys for Christmas and the two middle schools collect canned goods for Christmas. The parks department sorts the food and boxes it for the families. The families in need are identified by the schools. Along with a couple boxes of canned goods each family will also receive the fixings to make a Thanksgiving or a Christmas dinner. The toys are wrapped and delivered to the families.Each year at the main office (109 E. Industrial Blvd.) tags with the age and gender of the children in need are placed on a Christmas “giving tree”. When residents come by the office to pay their water bill, they could take a tag, purchase a toy, and then return the toy to our office. Customer Service Representative, Brenda Frazzini and Finance Director, Tammy Nordyke was instrumental in coordinating the giving tree and purchasing additional necessities such as toiletries and clothing items to brighten up the holidays for these families.This year at Thanksgiving we were able to deliver to 67 families. During the Christmas holiday we delivered food and presents to 71 families and 4 families received just gifts. There were a total of 228 children who we wrapped presents for. Each child received at least two gifts. On December 15, members of the community volunteered their time to wrap over 550 gifts.The Parks and Recreation Department is so much more than just sports. The department offers so many exciting things to the Pueblo West community and is always striving to find new ways to serve the community.We want to take this time to recognize those in our community who made 2018 the best year it could possibly be. Please if you are out in the community support and tell these groups, organizations, and people thank you:School District 70 (All elementary and middle schools), Swallows Charter Academy, Pueblo West Eagles #4471,Pueblo West Women’s League, Pueblo West Rotary, Knights of Columbus, KR Swerdfeger, Sheriff’s Department, Pueblo West Chamber, American Legion Post 207, Pueblo West Amateur Radio Club, Walmart, ST’s Pour House, Pass Key Pueblo West, Hen House, Taco Shells, Bella Pasta & Chicken, Tea Palace, Tocayo Mexican Grill, Deli Dave’s, Donut Oven, Angelo’s Pizza, Rojas Restaurant, Adams Ribs, The Winey B’s, San Isabel Electric, Basin Electric, ENT Credit Union, The Girl Scouts, Judy Leonard, Tamala Sammons, Linda Woolery & Joyce Kennedy, Patty and Mike French, Terry Zupan, those who volunteered for our special events, those who took a tag off the giving tree at 109 E. Industrial, and all others who walked into the parks office and dropped off a donation. We appreciate you and cannot thank you enough. Happy New Year!