HISTORY of the Children's Christmas Dinner Party The Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence, Inc. sponsored its 1st Annual Children’s Christmas Dinner Party for underserved children from the Philadelphia and surrounding areas at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, 17th and Race Street on Sunday, December 19, 2004. The Association had targeted to accommodate 1,800 to 2,000 children, however, over 4,000 children attended and the hotel overwhelmingly did not reject any of these precious jewels. The idea and concept of a Christmas party for homeless and disadvantaged children was conceived and established over twenty years ago in Washington, DC by Dr. William Tucker, Vice Chair of the Bethune Dubois Institute (a King Association affiliate) and President, Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence, Inc. In 2004, Ms. Diane Cauley, former Human Resources Director at Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, challenged Mr. Tucker to bring the Christmas Party to Philadelphia with the task of targeting disadvantaged children in the area. Diane approached the General Manager of the Hotel to be the 2004 Corporate Host Sponsor and the hotel graciously accepted. Over the past five years, Mr. Herman “Pete” Matthews and AFSCME District Council 33 has been the Host Sponsor of the event. For many children this event has been their first total Christmas experience. They are treated to a full course Christmas dinner, a special Christmas program that embodies the meaning and spirit of Christmas and gifts/toys with surprise visits from special Christmas characters, Disney Characters and Sesame Street Characters. The ballroom is usually beaming with Christmas decorations made into a magnificent winter-wonderland.