Aaron Goodwin (left) and Councilwoman Desley Brooks. Photo by Brandon Aninipot.
On December 23rd Desley Brooks and Aaron Goodwin celebrated their 10th Annual Christmas Party for Gifted Oakland Children. Having brought together local businesses, families, and toys this holiday season, Brooks and Goodwin hosted their event at the West End Club inside the Oracle Arena.
As the families came up the steps to the 3rd floor clubhouse they were greeted by the Delta Sigma Theta sisters as they walked the red carpet to the door entering the festivities. The room was full of emotion as the children and adults entered the party that was full of laughter and even a few tears of joy and excitement. Once inside they were greeted by Santa Claus and were surrounded by amusement arcade games miraculously brought to life with the help of the AEG staff, the Goodwin Foundation, and volunteers.
In a Facebook post by Councilwoman Desley Brooks, she described the event stating, “The kids and adults were all smiles. They were treated to a visit from Santa Claus; Stuffed Bear making; ornament decorating; cookie decorating; hair salon; photo booth; amusement video games; balloon tricks; candy bar; the Delta Sigma Theta paparazzi and welcoming crew; caricature drawings; letters to Santa; tickets to the A’s and Monster Jam; gifts from Bethania and KBLX Toy Drive; beautiful spread of food; and a $50 gift card from Aaron and I.”
Photographing the event I noticed first hand how well Brooks and Goodwin organized and brought together so many people from the same but different walks of life to create a better christmas and holiday season for the youth.
“We couldn’t pull off this event without the help of so many people especially: Darleen Brooks, Sallye Porter, the wonderful staff of AEG; The Goodwin Foundation and volunteers; East Bay Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.; Russell Gatewood; Chris Jourdan; Marsha Griego and her great stylist; Brandon Aninipot; Dwayne V. Davis; Mike and the Food crew and so many more. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making everyone feel a child’s joy at Christmas,” Brooks added in closing to her post.