Making merry and bright

Port Isabel police distribute hundreds of toys during annual giveaway

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

A long line of children and their parents snaked between tables set up in the main hall of the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center last Friday, Dec. 18. The standing-room only crowd waited with barely contained excitement to meet a very special guest who sat on the other side of a partition — a man who had traveled from the North Pole to say hello and spread some Christmas cheer.

It was Santa Claus himself who had come to this bayside community, where a local contingent of his elves, disguised as members of the Port Isabel Police Department (PIPD), were on hand to distribute hundreds of toys to local children ahead of the big day.

Port Isabel Chief of Police Robert Lopez spoke of how his department had been helping Santa this holiday season and why Friday’s toy giveaway was so important. “We’re very blessed. It’s a big thing. As you can see,” the chief said.

PIPD has been helping Santa for about 20 years, Lopez said, adding that he was proud to continue the tradition started by police chiefs before him. “We just continue the tradition. And part of the tradition that we feel is a lot of these kids, of course, some may not be able to get a toy for Christmas, or as many toys. And we just want to provide them with a nice toy during Christmastime,” Lopez said.

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