Alhambra helps those with disabilities have a Merry Christmas



By Ron Giofu


Alhambra, an organization that assists those with disabilities, got into the Christmas spirit last Saturday.

The McGregor-based chapter – Alhambra Garcia Caravan #230 – held its annual Christmas party at the Columbian Club Hall on Walker Road with about 207 people attending. That includes 138 people with disabilities plus their workers as well as volunteers.

Ray and Beth Renaud visit with Santa Claus at Alhambra Garcia Caravan’s Christmas party Dec. 9.

“This is an annual event,” explained Therese Barichello, grand commander of Alhambra Garcia Caravan #230. “It’s one of the most rewarding, joyful day for the holidays. These people don’t always have an opportunity to get out. They love parties. They love dancing. It’s a very worthwhile event.”

The Christmas event drew people mostly from around Essex County but some from Windsor also attended, Barichello stated. She added the gifts for those with disabilities came from the Tim Hortons in LaSalle and “they did a great job.”

Grant Leahy shares his Christmas wish list with Santa and receives a gift as well.

“Everyone likes coming forward and volunteering to help,” said Barichello. “I can’t explain how much I enjoy doing this. It gives me great joy and happiness. It’s better to give than to receive.”

Alhambra Garcia Caravan #230 helps various families in the county with accessibility aids and also hold various events and fundraisers throughout the year. Other than the annual Christmas party in McGregor, they hold an annual picnic at Co-An Park, a boating outing and a golf tournament, the latter being their largest fundraiser.

The organization have been holding Christmas parties in McGregor for the last 35 years.

For more information on Alhambra Garcia Caravan #230, visit or call 519-726-6494. More information on the Alhambra organization can also be found at

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