Holiday Joy from SCAIR-TANF

By Roy Cook

The Viejas Casino Dream catcher room is the gathering for our Southern California American Indian Resource and Tribal temporary Assistance for Needy families, SCAIR-TANF, Indian children and their parents. Tidings of comfort and joy with red elves hats bobbing and anxious eyes waiting for that Red suited fellow with the gifts. Early on, Wanda Michaelis, SCAIR Executive Director and William Johnson, SCAIR Board President, with all the SCAIR staff, were greeting and seating the early and late arrivals to this annual Holiday event.

Cool Viejas water, hot coffee or chocolate and toothsome varieties of cookies are selected as the guests settle at each table for the entertainment and speeches.

Santa’s gifts galore, still chilly from their Northern trip are on display in front of the stage from end to end. SCAIR senior advisor Randy Edmonds arrives with his wife, Bonnie and their small four legged friend.

On stage SCAIR Webmaster, Gary Ballard is taking family portraits of many of the participants. Shown, in the image, is the Reyes family on stage.

The SCAIR Chairperson, William Johnson opened the evening entertainment with a short address and introduction of the evenings Emcee, Randy Edmonds. Randy delivered a Tribal blessing for all at this joyful time and pointed out our American Indian tradition of generosity continue into this new millennium.

International mime celebrity, Abel ‘Running Grunion’ Silvas inspired, entertained and brought his story telling skill to the responsive audience. Our mission is always about the Indian children!

Santa made his way to the seat of Honor and the gift distribution, with his elves assistance, began. Squeals of joy and shrieks of surprise emerged from piles of wrapping discards. A tear of joy or two in the adult audience and pleased smiles of appreciation made for a most joyful night.

Keep in mind; it is always and at all times, the Indian children, Mehan.