GLENVIEW — The Glenview Ice Center set a record this year, but not in figure skating competition or hockey.
In December, the park district facility collected the most donated gifts for its annual Salvation Army Angel Tree drive.
The center at 1851 Landwehr Road took in more than 190 gifts for underprivileged children for the holiday season.
Residents visiting the center picked an Angel Tree Tag from the tree that named the gender, age, and holiday gift wish list for a child, later returning with a purchased gift.
“To see the smiles on so many faces and knowing that you are adopting children who are less fortunate and providing them with personalized gifts and necessities truly says it all,” said Kathy Brickman, Angel Tree coordinator.
“Our team has been devoted to participating for the past 10 years.”
The Angel Tree was located at the Glenview Ice Center lobby from December 2-20.
The Angel Tree program is one of The Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts, alongside the Red Kettles at storefronts.
In 1979, Major Charles and Shirley White created the Angel Tree gift drive, while working with a Lynchburg, Va. shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmastime.
Children wrote their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that had pictures of angels, hence the name Angel Tree program. Charles and White then placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help.
The Angel Tree program is unique because it matches sponsors with specific children. The Salvation Army identifies families in need each year, and each sponsor purchases gifts for their specific children with information about their age and gender.
Even when not all tags are taken, the Salvation Army splits up donations, so that every child will have a present to unwrap on Christmas morning.
The Angel Tree program is a part of the Glenview Ice Center’s 13th Annual Winter Carnival event from Dec. 20 to Jan. 5.
The winter break event included daily public skating, mini figure skating and hockey lessons, skating exhibitions, Holiday Family Luau, charity hockey game and New Year’s Day celebration.