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Sea Mar brings holiday cheer to local families
MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Sea Mar Community Health Center was able to bring some holiday cheer to at least a few of the families it serves, thanks to the support of local businesses and other community organizations, but Sea Mar volunteers noted that more is still needed.
Ricardo La Grotta, health care administrator for Sea Mar in Marysville, explained that limited resources meant that only the first 150 out of 1,700 area families in need who responded to Sea Mar’s invitation to its Dec. 18 holiday party at Cedarcrest Middle School would be able to receive gift bags.
“We were looking to help disadvantaged and poverty-level families, but it’s very hard because so many people qualify,” La Grotta said. “That’s why we had to limit it to the first responders to our invitations.”
At the same time, La Grotta praised a laundry list of groups whose contributions made even those donations possible, among them La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant which provided free meals to all the families who attended. The four-hour event also included arts and crafts activities, pictures with Santa Claus and entertainment from DJs, breakdancers, a mariachi band and members of the Everett Youth Symphony.
“The majority of contributions we receive come from these businesses’ staff members, who give of their time and money to help us,” La Grotta said.
Sea Mar provides medical and dental care to many low-income and uninsured patients. It also maintains a hotel for migrant workers in Yakima and, according to La Grotta, its Marysville center is aiming to add 10 new exam rooms in February, since the center is already at full capacity from serving 500 patients a week.
“Sea Mar does great work in the community,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said. “Its all-volunteer staff goes above and beyond for needy families, for which we’re all grateful.”
The Marysville Sea Mar Community Health Center is located at 9710 State Ave. For more information, call 360-653-1742.