ALTON, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Santa came early for thousands of young boys and girls in the City of Alton.

Wednesday morning, the Alton Police Department and the Alton Crime-Stoppers held their annual Blue Santa Event to pass out Christmas cheer this holiday season.

This year’s event was held in honor of 9-year-old Alton Police honorary Captain Brandon Tadeo Alvarez who courageously battled cancer and always dreamt of being a police officer.

“We know that our honorary Captain Brandon Tadeo Alvarez was smiling down on us today, as he was so selfless and giving,” said Jonathan B. Flores, Alton Police Chief and Asst. City Manager.

The Alvarez family still remains in contact with the Alton Police Department and donated thousands of toys to the Blue Santa Program this year.

“We are grateful to the Alvarez family who contributes and joins us each year to help honor Brandon’s memory and his passion for service to others,” said Chief Flores.

The agency tells ValleyCentral they are grateful they have such a tight-knit community that comes together every year to ensure no child is left without a gift to unwrap this Christmas.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated to our toy drives. Their donations put a smile on a lot of kids’ faces today,” said Chief Flores, “It was heartwarming to see all of the joy in the children’s faces as they received their gifts. These types of events embody the culture of the City of Alton. Service to our community is of the utmost importance to us.”