A Christmas tradition in Richmond reaches a milestone

Santa presents a young man with a soccer ball signed by a San Jose Earthquakes player attending the event.

If you needed something uplifting this past week (and don’t most of us?), the Richmond Police Activities League on Macdonald Avenue was a good place to be Sunday.
The RPAL gym again played host to the Charles Reid Christmas Party, a tradition born 65 years ago in North Richmond, where Mr. Reid was the recreation director and wanted to ensure that all the families in the neighborhood struggling post-war years were able to celebrate the holidays.
The tradition, carried on by the late Reid’s family through the Charles Reid Foundation, has not only survived, it has grown, expanded and moved downtown.
The need is no less great now than when the early parties started and people began arriving early Sunday.
“I think we had people starting to line up at 7 a.m.,” said Todd Lewis, Reid’s grandson. “When we came at 7:35 there were about 50 people in line already and we weren’t opening until noon.”

Families in line at the RPAL gym Sunday.

Chris Treadway