’Tis the season of giving and holiday cheer, and members of our community have both shared and received in special presentations this week. This morning, the City of Big Bear Lake contributed to a special wish of Tristan Crouse, a six-year-old from Sun City who is being treated for terminal cancer at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. The City partnered with paving and construction company the Matich Corporation to collect piles of clean snow and deliver it to a park in Loma Linda, so Crouse could have his Christmas wish of sledding for the first time. The six-year-old was originally scheduled to come to Big Bear but, given his current condition, the City of Big Bear Lake, Matich, Awesome Limousine and Urban Dog Mushers delivered the dog sled and the snow to him today.
Yesterday, the Big Bear Hotshots crew of the San Bernardino National Forest showed up at Baldwin Lane Elementary School with shiny, new presents for 20 needy children. For eight years now, the firefighting team of Hotshots have delivered new bicycles to children in communities surrounding the National Forest, and this year Big Bear youth were selected to be the recipients. The Hotshots pool their own funds to make the annual program happen and, on Tuesday, when a 21st child in need was identified at the Sugarloaf elementary, the Hotshots quickly contributed more funds, drove to a local store, and picked up another bike. Forest Service Fire Captain Jesus Montijo, who came up with the bikes at Christmas program, says, “It’s our way of helping kids in our communities. I know how much my bike meant to me while I was growing up, and the smile it puts on their faces makes it all worthwhile. It’s become a holiday tradition that we’ll proudly carry on.”