Homestead Job Corps Center (HJCC) students, in addition to the Miami Heat Dancers, Hip Hop Kidz and others, entertained a group of more than 2,000 needy children at Dodge City on Sunday, Dec. 16. This was the 25th annual Joys and Toys Holiday Party.
Samiel Remy, as Ebenezer Scrooge, and a cast of six other HJCC students “wowed” the audience of 5- to 12-year-olds with a rendition of the classic A Christmas Carol. The HJCC students had the delight and honor of being directed by Cornelia “Corky” Dozier, founder of the Coconut Grove Playhouse Children’s Theater.
“Their hard work really paid off and the several weeks of rehearsals with an Emmy award-winning director/producer like Corky Dozier was an experience our students will take with them forever,” said Lesly Diaz, HJCC Business and Community Liaison, who attended the event. “The appreciation and recognition our students received after the show was terrific; however, the smiles on the faces of the children gave them true joy and sense of purpose”
Job Corps students also performed excerpts from “Holiday Customs Around the World,” directed by Dozier and written by Dr. Alice Johnson. “Holiday Customs” focused on the holiday and Christmas traditions and customs that are celebrated in Miami-Dade County, to include Christmas in Latin America and the Caribbean; Hanukkah (a Jewish celebration), and Kwanzaa, an African American holiday celebration of culture and natural heritage.
Under the direction of HJCC’s staff member Gary Leak, the Homestead Job Corps Center “Step Team” performed to Jingle Bells and received a loud round of applause.
Dodge City Picnics — in cooperation with the office of Miami-Dade County District 9 Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, John “Dig” Welsh, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Homestead Job Corps Center, Redland Tropical Gardens, Reflections Productions, and the Florida Association of Nonprofit Organizations — hosted this 25th annual Joys and Toys Holiday Party.
The celebration also featured free food, drinks, large rides, bounce houses, giant slide, kiddie rides, a petting zoo, an obstacle course, face painting and holiday arts and crafts. The highlight of the event was the arrival of Santa Claus in a helicopter.