HUNTINGTON - Christmas is a time many spend with family and loved ones, reminiscing on the year past and looking forward to the future.
On Monday evening, those participating in Cabell County's drug court brought their families to First Steps Wellness & Recovery Center in the 700 block of 7th Avenue to share some Christmas joy.
"We have Santa and Mrs. Claus here for the kids and lots of food and desserts for everyone," said Matt Meadows, a Cabell County probation officer. "In drug court we do our best to try to show these folks that they can live a positive, pro-social life without drugs and alcohol. So doing things like this shows them that they can live that lifestyle and they don't need alcohol and drugs to have a great Christmas with their family and friends."
Fadra Smith, 33, of Lincoln County came with her two young daughters, 8-year-old Jalyn and 9-year-old Jocelyn, and her fianc Richard Loftus.
"As of tomorrow I will be graduated from drug court and the aftercare program too," she said. "We are all a big support system for each other in drug court, so this event is like having some Christmas fun with other members of your family. We get to share our success stories and what our plans are for the New Year."
The Deputy Sheriffs Association of Cabell County contributed $2,000 toward the event.
"We want to help as many children and families as we can, and this event is one way to help give the joy of the holidays to others," said Cabell County Deputy Sheriff Terry McFann.
Cathy Melba catered the event with her business K & Z Delights of Huntington.
"This event is special to me because I too am a drug court graduate," Melba said. "I graduated in 2011, so it's important to me to give back to drug court because without them I would not be where I am at today."
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at the event with gifts on a Huntington Fire Department truck.
"There are so many folks that make this event possible," Meadows said. "We have community members, like Brian and Missy Morrison, and other folks just trying to make a difference. There is also the Huntington Fire Department, the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Cabell County, the Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the Cabell County Probation Office and others."
Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter at @FredPaceHD.