Nonprofit group to host Tropical Wonderland for kids

PORT ISABEL — Tying in coastal aspects of the Laguna Madre area, a local nonprofit organization likes to add a nautical twist to their annual holiday celebration.

Capable Kids Foundation Lower Valley, in conjunction with Wells Fargo and Driscoll Health Plan, will host its free fifth annual Tropical Wonderland.

The event will be held Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center located at 309 Railroad Avenue.

The day will feature an array of activities such as an indoor snowball fight, crafts, games, bounce houses, music, toy giveaways, cake walks, small train rides and a visit from Santa.

Tropical Wonderland will be open to up to 200 kids and young adults with disabilities, one sibling and one family member.

Attendees must register at

“We want it to be an incredibly fun day for our kids,” Capable Kids Foundation Lower Valley Program Director Stephanie Wilson said. “One where they can be free to be who they are and also be in a safe place where they can just fully enjoy things geared toward them.”

According to Wilson, like with everything Capable Kids does, if the community and businesses aren’t there to help, they can’t put together events such as the Tropical Wonderland.

“We’re run by volunteers and donations and don’t ever want to have to charge our families for participating because a lot of them have enough expenses just in having a special needs child,” Wilson said. “So we want this to be something that costs would never prohibit them from participating.”

The event is currently in need of volunteers, toy donations and cake or cookie donations.

Volunteers will help with a variety of tasks such as assisting with crafts and cookie decorating, serving food, monitoring the train area and pulling children in sleds, helping unload children and equipment from vehicles, handing out toys and assisting with photos with Santa.

Set-up and decorating volunteers will need to be available from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday to help with decorating and setting up activities.

Event assistance volunteers will need to be available from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Lunch will be provided for volunteers who help with set-up and also stay to assist with the event.

“We appreciate those sponsors and volunteers who help make these events happen,” Wilson said. “We encourage repeat volunteers. You won’t regret it because it’s so much fun.”


WHAT — Capable Kids Foundation Lower Valley Tropical Wonderland

WHEN — Sunday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 5 p.m.

WHERE — Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center, 309 Railroad Avenue




• Donated toys must be unwrapped and have a $10 value.

• Drop off stations are located at businesses and organizations throughout Cameron County including — South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Los Fresnos, Brownsville and Harlingen.

• The toy drive ends Dec. 1.

• For more information, contact or call (956) 929-2063.