A chilly night had little effect on the warmth filling Mt. Helix Park Amphitheatre Sunday night.
For the second year in a row, the weather was kind to the Foundation’s annual Christmas Caroling event. Although the temperature was in the mid-50s, carolers happily donned appropriate apparel and snuggled with blankets under the stars for the opportunity to share good cheer with their fellow man, woman and child.
Shucks, with all of the smiles, laughter and singing, one might easily take the event for Christmas in "Whoville."
Tammy White, co-owner of Just Between Friends and a Mount Helix resident for 14 years, brought her two children as well. She said her favorite part of the event is “just the sense of community – it’s old-fashioned family time.”
White said she comes to the event every year. The Mt. Helix Park Foundation has sponsored the Christmas Caroling event for 21 years.
White’s son, Thane, a student and her daughter, Tia, a student at Parkway Middle School, happily partook of the event. Tia sipped hot cocoa with her friends, Cheyenne Avants and Kimmy Bond, as Thane listened to the carols with his mom.
SPRITES members manned the raffle table and helped hand out hot cocoa, coffee and hot cider. SPRITES, a philanthropic mother-daughter organization, assisted with the raffle and refreshment tables in previous years as well.
For $1 per ticket, attendees purchased the chance to win several prizes, including tickets to the San Diego Symphony Winter Pops, Boardwalk Amusement Park tickets, yoga classes and a video golf lesson.
SPRITES member Sandra Phillips said she’s happy to bring her daughter, Erica, a junior at Granite Hills High School, to volunteer at the event.
“It gives mothers and daughters a chance to come together,” she said.
Raffle proceeds go to the Mt. Helix Park Foundation, “so they can put these events on and have a beautiful area to come to,” said Phillips.
Phillips attributed much of the night’s success to Tracey Stotz, executive director of the Mt. Helix Foundation. Stotz kept busy welcoming shuttle riders to the park and keeping everyone on schedule.
Upon arriving at Mt. Helix Park, attendees were greeted by a barbershop quartet comprising members of the San Diego Sun Harbor Chorus, which meets every Tuesday at the Casa Del Prado building in Balboa Park.
Corina Hill brought her children, Alexa, 7, and Jake, 5, for the first time after being invited by some friends. The San Carlos resident said the children practiced carols on the way to the designated parking area at the Station on Vivera Drive.
Alexa and Jake were in the Christmas mood as soon as the shuttle pulled up to Mt. Helix Park. Alexa said her favorite Christmas song is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and Jake said he was going to ask Santa Claus for the Flash Gordon movie.
Alexa was in luck. The night’s lineup included “Rudolph” in its extensive list of 39 songs. Every now and then community music director Gina Seashore asked carolers to shout out requests, leading to rousing renditions of “Feliz Navidad” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Mt. Helix Park Foundation hosts several events during the year, including an Easter ceremony and an annual fundraiser in August called “