Giving kids a brighter Christmas

Amy R. Spurgeon

NEWPORT BEACH -- A local couple will team up with owners of the Catalina

Flyer charter yacht tonight to give more than 500 foster and terminally

ill children a taste of Newport.

The boat parade, that is.

The event, in its 10th year, will feature entertainment, food, a free

"Kids Night" sweatshirt and a visit from Santa Claus.

Everything has been donated for the event, including use of the

three-level yacht. Adults and children are normally charged $15 and $12

respectively for a spot on the boat.

"Our return for the effort is all of the hooting and hollering from the

kids," said Newport Beach resident Geoff Landon, who organizes the event

with his girlfriend. "Some of these kids don't have much farther to go in

life."

Starting at 7:30 p.m., the yacht will cruise the harbor alongside the

boat parade for more than one hour. Children from Orangewood Children's

Home, Childrens Hospital Orange County, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and

homes for abused and battered women with children will participate.

"It is a wonderful trip for the children that they normally can't enjoy,"

said Balboa Pavilion and Catalina Flyer owner Bob Black. "We are happy to

do it. It gives them a brighter Christmas."The annual Newport Harbor

Christmas Boat Parade, which starts at 6:30 p.m., ends tonight. It begins

and ends at Collins Island. For more information, call (949) 729-4400.

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