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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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More than Lights: Santa’s Wonderland gives back with “Cocoa for a Cause”

After 18 years, Santa’s Wonderland continues to bring holiday festivities and give money back to the Bryan-College Station community.
Santa’s Wonderland, a 69-acre Christmas light farm, runs “Cocoa for a Cause,” — specific days where hot chocolate proceeds are donated to select charities.
“Our four main charities are Brazos Valley Food bank, Aggieland Humane Society, Wounded Warriors and Scotty’s House,” said Terri Ross, Santa’s Wonderland marketing representative. “Cocoa for a Cause is an additional way to raise funds. When customers purchase hot chocolate, all the proceeds go to support them.”  
Cocoa for a Cause was held Dec. 5 for Aggieland Humane Society. Ross said in addition to the donated proceeds from hot chocolate purchases, the Humane Society brought animals to the park to be adopted.
Kelli Graves, communications specialist at Aggieland Humane Society, said Santa’s Wonderland has been a huge supporter.
“They’re great animal lovers and they’ve been really kind to us in helping all of the homeless pets here,” Graves said.
Cocoa for a Cause will be held for Scotty’s House, the child advocacy center of Brazos Valley on Dec. 12. Cary Baker, the executive director at Scotty’s House, said Santa’s Wonderland has donated $15,000 over the past two years.
“The first year we got $5,000, and last year we got $10,000, which is amazing for cocoa sales in one night,” Baker said.
“We work with law enforcement and child protective services to investigate child abuse,” Baker said. “When there has been a report of child abuse, instead of a child having to be interviewed at the police department then go to the hospital for a medical exam then go to the district attorney’s office to meet with them, they come to our facility and everyone comes here so the child only has to tell their story once.”
Scotty’s House also provides counseling and all of it’s services are free.
This year when purchasing admission, customers at Santa’s Wonderland will have the choice to pick either a hayride or a carriage ride. Both rides include Christmas lights visitors can view under the night sky.
“It’s a festive, fun experience either way,” Ross said. “The hayride is bigger so it’s better for groups, while the carriage ride is more intimate and you get cocoa.”
Baker said Scotty’s house truly appreciates support from Santa’s wonderland.
“Everyone is always so generous around the holidays and for a local business to, at their busiest time, take a moment to remember Scotty’s House and the children that we work with, it’s so meaningful,” Baker said.

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