Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso teamed up with The Hospitals of Providence for a socially distanced holiday event on Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12, at the 6th annual Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer celebration.
From the safety and comfort of their vehicles, hundreds of El Pasoans kicked off the holidays with a drive-through evening light show outside the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso at Transmountain clinic and The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus.
HB Pro Sound provided a dazzling display of lights and music. Foster School of Medicine assistant professors Nathaniel Ng, M.D., and Naima Khamsi, M.D., and nurses Khamsay Panngasiri and Esai Barrios, both graduates of the Hunt School of Nursing, served as the honorary count down crew to kick off the event.
The drive-through route took families on a tour of Santa’s workshop, and attendees were treated to the colorful sights of Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Snowflake Princesses and the Grinch. The buildings illuminated surrounding desert foothills with holiday lights while music played in the background, and the classic cartoon Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was projected on one of the walls. El Paso Electric’s Power Pack mascot and El Paso Locomotive FC’s Ozzie the Bat mascot also joined in on the festivities.
“Our annual Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer event has been bringing joy to the El Paso community for six years now,” said Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., TTUHSC El Paso’s vice president for Institutional Advancement. “We understand many people are facing challenging situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When we considered cancelling the event, our entire team and partners at THOP all stepped up to ensure we could provide a safe event for our community. Seeing the excitement from some of our youngest attendees made it all worth it at the conclusion of such a challenging year.”
Several front-line health care heroes took a break to watch and enjoy the festivities through the hospital’s windows. The Grinch spread holiday cheer to visiting nurses as they left work for the day, thanking them for their compassion and dedication.
“It was truly special to see so many families join us for our Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer event and to be able to bring a little magic and holiday cheer during this time of year in a fun and safe way,” said Tasha Hopper, CEO for The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus. “It was amazing to see the excitement on all those faces – it was just what the doctor ordered!”
Each night, the first 250 vehicles received a free goodie bag loaded with cookies, cocoa and coloring books for the family to enjoy. Guests remained in their vehicles at all times. The community event was sponsored by El Paso Electric.
Check out our photos from the event: