John Salters started the annual Christmas party at 3703 Station Ave. 21 years ago with his late wife, Mae.
"My wife would be smiling in heaven," he said.
Salters said his son Isaiah led the children in music and games on the gymnasium stage.
"This is awesome. It is much more than I ever thought it would be," Salters said.
Isaiah Salters got the crowd into the music and urged the children to put toothpaste on their noses and pass cotton balls to each other in a "relay" race on stage in front of their families and friends. The results were mixed based on the participants' ratio of toothpaste to cotton balls.
Tables lined the gym floor as people munched on food and sang along with Christmas carols.
"It is a beautiful thing to get the kids out of the house and have a nice Christmas," said Megan Stuper of Ashtabula.
Amber Miner said she has been coming to the event since it started.
"I love it," she said.
More than 200 children attended the party, said Drew Thomas, president of the G.O. Community Development Corporation's board of directors.
"Everybody gets a couple of presents," Thomas said, adding a local donation made it possible for 33 children to receive bicycles.
"We will have some happy children," he said before the lucky winners were selected. "We had a great response as far as donations."
He said the organization, which offers food, clothing and household items to those in need, feeds 45 to 75 people Monday through Friday at the headquarters on Station Avenue. While the organization has some money in the bank, there are a lot of needs.
"Our electric bill was $2,200 last month," he said.
Thomas said there were large donations of $8,000, $5,000 and $3,000, but the money is needed to continue feeding area residents and the operation of programs such as the center's recreation center and computer lab.
He said anyone interested in making a donation can send checks for G.O. CDC to P.O. Box 1173. Thomas said he can also be reached at 216-780-3845.
Story by Warren Dillaway