Here Comes Santa. . . Right Down that Slippery Slide?


CULLMAN – The Cullman Wellness & Aquatic Center (CWAC) was the epitome of Christmas fun and holiday cheer on Friday as they held a very unique event. The Aquatic Center partnered with Cullman Caring for Kids in an effort to protect local children from going hungry.


CWAC offered half priced day passes and free enrollment on any memberships (a $50 value) when people brought in canned food items. In an effort to provide as much non-perishable items as possible to the food bank, they also gave away a three-month membership to the individual who brought in the most non-perishable food items. 


According to Beverly Howse, receptionist for CWAC, the event had been a large success several years ago so they decided to bring it back again this year. Christmas in July 2014 has proved to be the most successful year to date as table upon table literally overflowed with canned goods. 


From the moment you walked through the front doors, it felt like a true holiday. Christmas trees were decorated and sprinkled throughout the building. Stockings were hung up with great care while sprays of garland dangled from every available spot. Christmas music played over the loud speakers and delicious festive cookies were given out as special treats. Both children and adults alike competed against each other as they participated in the many exciting Christmas games that were played throughout the day.


“Our first game was the Frozen T-shirt Contest. We froze t-shirts overnight and the kids had to unfreeze them and put them on. The first person that was able to get a t-shirt on was the winner and got to keep the t-shirt,” Maggie Smith, CWAC employee, explained.


“We played Polar Bear Plunge where everyone had to act like polar bears. Whoever made the biggest splash off the high dive was the winner. The Santa Belly Limbo was fun. We had a string of garland, which acted as our limbo pole and the kids had to limbo under it. The last two left had to put something in their shirts and act like Santa with a big belly and shimmy under the garland. Whoever won that part got a prize,” she giggled. “Then we had a snowball fight using giant marshmallows for the snowball, and had a game called Santa’s Helpers where we had elves picked who was naughty or nice.”


At the end of the day, there was an awesome concert out back. Ally & the Alley Katz played up a storm on the pool deck from 7-9 p.m. There was dancing, singing and a bunch of happy folks to close out this year’s event. Everyone who participated received a special gift – the families who enjoyed the Wellness Center had a wonderful time, and the local families in need will have something to eat.


 “Cullman Caring for Kids has served the Cullman community in many great ways, taking stances to prevent child hunger and advocate for an end to child abuse,” explained Waid Harbison, marketing director at Cullman City Parks & Recreation.


“Many people are thinking of ways to give during the Christmas season, and donations to the food bank are always on an upswing around Christmas time. But July is normally a pretty dry month for food banks all around, with less of an emphasis on giving during the summer season.”


For information on joining the Cullman Wellness & Aquatic Center, you may contact them at 256-775-SWIM. If you are interested in finding out more about Cullman Parks and Recreation, feel free to contact Waid Harbison at