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Winter Wonderland’s Holiday Soiree Brings Gift of Literacy for Pinellas County Youth

Winter Wonderland's Holiday Soiree in Clearwater

Winter Wonderland's Holiday Soiree in Clearwater

Tuesday night - December 4th - at downtown Clearwater’s Winter Wonderland was the site of a unique fundraiser, benefitting two literacy-oriented charities. Usually the site of childish laughter and delight, Winter Wonderland was turned over, for just one night, to grown-ups. Their visits with Santa, a trip to the petting zoo and the hot chocolate shop were interspersed with a wine tasting, gourmet fare and world-class entertainment. Winter Wonderland’s first “Holiday Soiree” was a fundraiser for two charities that support literacy – Clearwater’s Community Learning Center and St. Petersburg’s Bees Learning Inc.

Winter Wonderland is produced by the Clearwater Community Volunteers and sponsored by the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. Winter Wonderland is located on the corner of North Fort Harrison Ave. and Drew Street in downtown Clearwater.

“Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard said that ‘The greatest joy there is in life is creating – Splurge on it.’ What better time than the holidays to do just that?” said Lisa Mansell, the Public Affairs Director for the Church and also the evening’s MC.

“Someone told us that we needed to bring our kids with us tonight but we said ‘no way! It’s grown up night!’” said one guest. “We are so happy we came out and we had just a great time. I can’t believe over 5,000 volunteer hours went into setting this park up! We are coming back on Sunday with our kids and can’t wait for you guys to put this event on again next year.”

Guests enjoyed strolling the holiday village and listening to the entertainment. But the highlights of the evening were the wine tasting and the petting zoo.

“My friend asked me to come with her and at first I was skeptical, a night in a children park? Not for me really. But then I saw the rabbits, and the baby goats, and the llamas and after five minutes I was enjoying the park like a five year old boy,” said another guest.

Winter Wonderland, now in its 26th year, is a free community event that runs Wednesday through Sunday weekly until the 22nd of December. Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food or an unwrapped toy to be distributed to area charities that help families in need. There are small costs for some activities, with those funds also going to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League.

For more information about Winter Wonderland, please call Michael or Clem at (727) 316-5309.

ABOUT THE CLEARWATER COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS: The Clearwater Community Volunteers have over 25 years of community service under their belt with over 150,000 families and children helped since their founding in 1992. Sponsored by the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, they stay true to their reputation of helping others with their new center located on the corner of Fort Harrison Avenue and Drew Street in downtown Clearwater. For more information, please go to

Lisa Mansell
Public Affairs Department
503 Cleveland Street
Clearwater FL 33755

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