1,000 needy kids treated to movie, presents

NORWALK, Calif. The 800 kids and 300 host families were guests of honor at a special screening of Disney's new animated film "The Princess and the Frog." Following the screening and lunch, the kids got to take pictures with Santa Claus and pick out their presents, made possible by the generous donations to ABC7's "Spark of Love" toy drive.

The event at the Norwalk AMC Theater was hosted by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). ABC7's Danny Romero was Master of Ceremonies.

Since 1993, DCFS has partnered with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and ABC7 every year to put on the event.

"We're just really happy to be part of this event. All of the L.A. County firefighters, along with all of our fire chiefs, are just really proud to be sponsors of this event every year," said L.A. County Fire Inspector Matt Levesque.

Despite fears that donations wouldn't be enough this year amidst a tough economy, donors still found a way to help bring holiday cheer to children and families in need.

"You would think that people wouldn't be able to give, and yet it is just amazing to me," said Trish Ploehn, DCFS. "I kept worrying about are we going to have enough toys this year because so many people are hurting, and yet people have just dug down deeper into their pockets. And when you talk about children from needy families or children that are in the child welfare system, people become very generous and they have been very generous with our children."

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.

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