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2019 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Banner

Annual Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle

Sunday, December 15, 2019

1pm-2pm: Special Needs Families
2pm-7pm: General Public

Santa Rosa Mall
Mary Esther, FL

History

Our miracle started in December 2005! It was inspired by Ramon's Miracle on 31st Street, which is an event held in south Tucson, Arizona, since 1971.

The Tucson miracle was the brainchild of Ramon Gonzalez, a retired sheet metal worker who decided to start a small party in his neighborhood because he always believed that "no kid should go without at least a small toy during Christmas!" Ramon organized a get-together for the kids and he cooked some hotdogs and bought small toys for each and every child that attended. Since then, Ramon's party, which has also been named "Navidad en el Barrrio", has hosted thousands of kids and in the last dozen or so years averages over 10,000 in attendance! Ramon and his family motivate the entire community of the region to come together to organize a fun-filled party with food, entertainment, and where Santa and his elves give toys to each and every child that attends!

In December 2005, the founders and leaders of what was then known as the Latinos Unidos de la Costa Esmeralda, a local non-profit, created the LUCES NAVIDEÑAS needy children's fiesta with the same concept and purpose as Ramon's Fiesta. The event is an EVERYTHING IS FREE to all that attend and welcomes needy families regardless of race, ethnicity, or creed and open to the general public without a need to pre-register.

Luces Navideñas

Luces Navideñas

Luces Navideñas

Luces Navideñas

Thanks to Bear Henley, the then CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, who along with his wife Mitzi Henley, were one of the first supporters of the idea, the first was held at the Boys and Girls Club's Teen Center in Fort Walton Beach. Many of the staff members of the Club and Teen Center were instrumental in the success of that first event, which hosted about 150 kids.

The Fiesta was held at the Boys and Girls Club from 2005 - 2012 and more than 2600 children and families attended. The organizers also established the tradition of always starting the event with the first hour being only for special needs families. The general public is then allowed after the first hour so that all kids can enjoy a time together for the rest of the day.

In 2012, United for a Good Cause Inc. was created and it inherited the Fiesta as its primary project. It was then that it was rebranded into the Annual Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle.

2012 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

2012 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta

2012 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

2012 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta

Video from the 10 year anniversary
View on YouTube

As the event grew in size and popularity, attracting needy families from throughout the region, it moved to other locations, including First Baptist Church Fort Walton Beach's Christian Life Center, Striving for Perfection Ministries, and the Grand Ballroom of the Emerald Coast Convention Center.

2015 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

2015 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta at Striving for Perfection Ministries

2016 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

2016 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta at the Emerald Coast Convention Center

In 2018, the Fiesta moved to its current location, the Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther and its inaugural event there was a huge success!

2018 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

2018 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta at the Santa Rosa Mall

2018 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

2018 Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta at the Santa Rosa Mall

More than 7,000 additional needy children and their families have been served from 2012 - 2018!

In addition to serving the needy families that attend, the Miracle is special in many other ways, because it provides local area youth an opportunity to serve their community.

The Fiesta's slogan is "UNITING the CommUNITY…for the children" and with that in mind, it reaches out to local area businesses and individuals, to seek their support via sponsorships and/or donations. Additionally, it provides space during the event to non-profit organizations that serve families so they can participate by having a fun activity table and at the same time promote their services.

Our event is partially supported by Toys for Tots and also receives coat donations from the United Way's "Coats for Kids" program.

Activity table at the Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

Activity table at the Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta

Activity table at the Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Fiesta

Activity table at the Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Children's Fiesta

Some of our regular sponsors include Gulf Power, Cox, Eglin Federal Credit Union, ZT Motors, The Home Depot, Target, Gulf Coast Immediate Care Center, and individuals like Neil Tabot of Primerica and former Commissioner Dave Parisot among others.

As the proud "daughter" of Ramon's Miracle on 31st Street in Tucson, our miracle has been key in inspiring "sister events" in San Jose Costa Rica and in Mexico!

In 2019, we are celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle. It will take place on December 15, 1pm - 7pm, at the Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther.

Help us put a smile on a needy child's face this Christmas! Please call us for details on how you can help as individual donors or business sponsors or access and download our sponsor packets!

Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Sponsorship Packet >>

Need help with Christmas Toys for your kids?
¿Necesitas ayuda con juguetes para tus hijos esta Navidad?
Click here - Haz click aqui >>

Santa's 4-County Sleigh Run

In 2013, our leadership created a "follow-on" to the Christmas Miracle as a result of the numerous calls from needy families that asked us for help, but they could not make the Fiesta for lack of transportation, illness, etc. So, we started the "Santa's 4-County Sleigh Run." During the "Sleigh Run", volunteers from our organization fill up a rental truck with toys, bikes, and gifts, and we caravan to where those families live to deliver Christmas Spirit! More than 140 families in the counties of Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Escambia have been visited during our Sleigh Run and in 2018, we extended it to serve Panama City to give toys to kids affected by Hurricane Michael. The next Run will take place on December 21, 2019.

Annual Santa Run

Santa's 4-County Sleigh Run

Annual Santa Run

Santa's 4-County Sleigh Run

Our Supporters

2019 Sponsors

Gulf Coast Immediate Care
Gulf Power

 

2019 Toy Drive Partners

Look for Toy Box Collection Boxes at these partner companies:

Ft. Walton Beach

  • ZT MOTORS (Toyota, Mazda, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz Dealerships)
  • Supermarket Mi Gente
  • Rapunzel's Hair Salon

Mary Esther

  • Santa Rosa Mall

Florosa

  • Thai Noodle Place

Hurlburt Field

  • M&J Personal/Private Chefs (University of Oklahoma's Office)