Sickle cell families enjoy fun-filled holiday luncheon

ST. PETERSBURG — The Sickle Cell Disease Association, St. Petersburg Chapter sponsored their annual Christmas luncheon at the Enoch Davis Center Sat., Dec. 5. More than 70 families were represented.

Board member Milton Bailey began the program by introducing Mistress of Ceremony Busara Pitts, another board member. Things quickly got underway as Mt. Zion Progressive’s dance group, Creative Expressions, performed under the direction of Michelle Mann. They were a real crowd pleaser. A local balloon artist was an added treat.

Minister Micah Poole did the invocation and grace before Pitts introduced the 2015 – 17 poster child, Xavier J.  McKinney. The eight-year-old student excitedly gave the welcome.

Melvin Smith was introduced by Chapter President/Founder Mary Murph as the new sickle cell outreach coordinator. Later, he and registered nurse Shanika Jackson from Largo Medical spoke about the support group.

As Christmas music played in the background, children and adults alike were delighted when jolly ol’ Santa Claus arrived bearing gifts. Portrayed by Chris Calloway, Santa took pictures with clients and spread holiday cheer all around.

Special thanks to Robert Pitts, program and board participants.

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