Volunteer Breaks Down Clearwater's Winter Wonderland but Memories Remain

Real estate broker, Pam Ryan Anderson reminisces on her years of sweat, tears and joy in the "beautiful winter village" of sunny downtown Clearwater which has seen over 200,000 visitors

CLEARWATER, Fla., Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Moving amongst a dozen other bodies, pulling down garlands, stacking away decorations and dismantling the buildings for Clearwater's Winter Wonderland, Pam Ryan Anderson, the chairman of the Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV), the group of volunteers who build Winter Wonderland, remarked, "Every year I wonder how I'm going to get the energy and volunteers needed to do this again, and every year I know I will do it again because I absolutely LOVE giving the gift of this gorgeous, sparkling village to our community."

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140113/MN44470)

For 21 years, Clearwater's Winter Wonderland, a Tudor-style Winter Village noted for its over 10,000 Holiday Lights on 100 Christmas trees, Santa, a stage for performances, petting zoo, Bouncy House, and other family fun activities, has been lighting up Downtown Clearwater for three weeks during the Christmas season.  And for 16 of those years, Winter Wonderland has been lighting up Pam's life with magical events and wonderful memories.

"There is nothing else like it," Anderson continued, "Winter Wonderland is truly a Clearwater tradition, something families can look forward to year after year."

The cheerful, energetic 60-year-old Clearwater resident has run the preparation and execution of Winter Wonderland as part of the Church of Scientology's Volunteer Program for the last five years.  Eight years before that she was the project's Deputy and prior to that, she was one of the rank and file volunteers who brought her then young daughters, now 22 and 25, to Winter Wonderland.

"When I relocated to Clearwater from Trenton, New Jersey I found Winter Wonderland to be exactly the kind of activity I always looked for when my kids were young – good, safe family fun.  So when I was presented with the opportunity to build an entire Christmas village where kids of all ages can come and experience a little bit of Christmas magic, that made my heart swell and fit right into where I live.", said Anderson.

As a member of the Church of Scientology, Anderson feels that it is her responsibility to help and follows the belief of L. Ron Hubbard, the Founder of Scientology, that:  "A being is only as valuable as he can serve others." 

"I believe that wholeheartedly and apply that consistently so working with the CCV was a perfect fit since their mission is to help kids and families", said Anderson.

According to Anderson, "The Church provides the safe space of their parking lot for us to build Winter Wonderland.  The security guards are always there to help us if we need them.  Other Church staff help in hundreds of ways from washing dishes and fixing signs to lighting trees and decorating – making it possible for the more than 200,000 people from all over the Tampa Bay area, and even other parts of Florida, to attend any of three main events over the past 21 years."

Each year brings something special and this year was no exception with the children from the Sheriff's Youth Ranch attending the event was guests of the CCV.  Each child was presented with a gift bag filled with school supplies presented by Santa.

"I believe that what we will remember more about this Christmas season was having the youngsters at the Sheriff's Youth Ranch find the friendship of Joel and Pam Anderson", stated Bruce Dodge, Sheriff's Youth Ranch.

Dodge went on to say, "The money that you folks donated was much needed and appreciated.  Money is important, but what you did for the kids at their special night at Winter Wonderland was nothing less than fabulous. There is no way we can properly express our gratitude for your warmth and generosity."

About Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV):

Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV) is a non-profit, charitable organization, made up entirely of volunteers and was founded by parishioners of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater.  CCV produces the huge Easter Egg Hunt in Coachman Park in Clearwater every Spring and "Winter Wonderland" – an annual holiday charity drive in downtown Clearwater featuring 5 village buildings, 100 live pine trees, a fully functioning stage with entertainment, tens of thousands of tiny white lights, pony & train rides, a playground, a giant slide and bouncy house, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. CCV gets their inspiration from the quote by L Ron Hubbard, "Love and Help Children."  CCV has raised over $150,000 over the past 21 years for charities such as Nourish to Flourish, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Tampa, Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast, Homeless Emergency Project, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Children's Home, Inc., the oldest orphanage in Tampa. For more information, log on to www.clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org

Media Contact: Carmen Mauerer, Clearwater Community Volunteers, (727) 442-2099, cmauerer@gmail.com

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SOURCE Clearwater Community Volunteers



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