On Dec. 7, the 9th annual “Civil Servants for Santa” kids’ benefit event brought public service men and women together once again to provide gifts, memories and smiles to select neighborhood children during the holidays.

With Santa Claus’ helicopter escort arrival, provided by the REACH Air MedCare team, the kids welcomed the opportunity to meet with the Christmas carrier at Blythe’s Joe Wine Recreation Center parking lot.

The morning event saw the kids be bused by the Palo Verde Valley Transit Agency (PVVTA) to the ACE Hardware/Inland Builders Supply store, where they buddied up with members of participating agencies, including: the Blythe Police Department (BPD); Colorado River Station – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; Blythe Area Station – California Highway Patrol (CHP); CALFire/Riverside County Fire Department; City of Blythe Fire Department; Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP); Ironwood State Prison (ISP); and the Riverside County Probation Department.

Also on hand to support the event were Blythe Mayor Dale Reynolds, the Joe Wine Recreation Center staff, and area Miss California princesses.

With a ready and helpful ACE Hardware/Inland Builders Supply staff, the children were treated to the morning’s free designated shopping spree thanks to organizers and participating public servants.

Since the closure of Blythe’s now-defunct big box department store in September 2017, the local ACE Hardware/Inland Builders Supply’s owners Steve Lindbergh and Dave Bayles, along with staff, have stepped up to deliver aisles worth of toys for the annual “Civil Servants for Santa” event for kids.

(Note: To see the full Faces & Places photospread of the event, visit and like the Times' official social media page at: facebook.com/blythenews)

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