Wilmington business owner participates in Christmas events to sponsor area children.

WILMINGTON, NC (Dec 7, 2016) — Forty children received an early Christmas surprise Monday.  Vistage, a professional organization for business executives and owners, sponsored a Christmas event.  Among the sponsors was Wilmington business executive and owner Kelly Epley of Never Stop Digital and Never Stop Select Services.

Brittain Resorts and Hotels provided space for the Christmas gathering in the grand ballroom at the Ocean Reef Resort.

The evening began with a dinner of pizza and sandwiches.  While they ate, the children were given balloon animals and hats by stilt walkers.  After dinner, the attendees were brought into a room where they were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  The room was filled with large candy cane decorations, Christmas-colored balloons, and 320 presents.  Each child received about $150 worth of gifts.

“For me, the spirit of Christmas is when 15 business owners that rarely work with each other hold hands and sponsor 40 kids they’ve never met before and maybe will never meet again.”  Wayne Rickman of the Vistage Fundraising Team said, “That to me is what Christmas is all about.”

After the initial gift-opening, another surprise was unveiled.  The sponsors gathered around a mountain of white blankets that had seemingly been part of the Christmas decorations.  After a countdown, they lifted the blankets to reveal several bicycles in various colors.  Every child was presented with his or her own bike.

“It [the event] made me feel very fortunate that I can give back,” Epley said, “I met so many great kids.  It was amazing to be able to do something special for them.”

The event is associated with “Help 4 Kids,” an organization in South Carolina that provides food and other necessities for children in need.