Over a dozen of Escondido’s restaurants, breweries, and purveyors provided the wine, food, and beer for the 9th annual Community in Unity that was held under the rotunda of the Escondido City Hall Thursday evening.
Over 125 people attended. Choirs performed from Escondido Adventist Academy, Patio Playhouse, Classical Academy, and San Pasqual High School.
The LIVE Christmas Tree was donated by Laura Hillebrecht of The Farm Stand West; 15 feet tall, 500lbs, and the largest and most beautiful tree ever at Community In Unity. It is still there at City Hall under the rotunda and the perfect place for people to take the Holiday and Christmas photos, said Chris Cochran of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, which put on the event. The tree came from Oregon, and Cochran, who helped decorate it, said that climbing to the top of it was one of the most frightening experiences of his life.
The evening was launched when the Chamber presented a check for $3,500 to the Police Athletic League, whose director Al Owens told The Times-Advocate: The Police Athletic League runs after school and education programs for children in Escondido and the surrounding communities.
Many of the children in the program come from low income families and they can’t afford to put their kids in a sports program. PAL runs three basketball season per year. The ages children in the program are 7-18 years old. PAL also conducts Safety Academies for children from the ages of 6-13 years old. PAL also supports the Escondido Police Children’s Christmas Party that is a party for children who are low income or who have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse. The money from the Chamber will be used to help us run all these programs. No salaries are paid from donated funds so all donations benefit the children and community,” said Owens.
Also benefiting from the event was Rady Children’s Hospital.
One of the speakers at the event was Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara, who gave kudos to the Chamber for being an engine for the local economy. “It’s more than economic development, it’s taking care of the community. The Chamber is doing a great job,” he said.