Kiwanis bring early Christmas to kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Some 35 area youngsters, from tots to teens, along with their families celebrated an early Christmas with the Greenville Kiwanis Club on Tuesday.

The occasion was the organization's annual Christmas Party, held in conjunction with the Butler County Department of Human Resources, &#8220a vital part of this process,” said Susan Rhodes, Kiwanis immediate past president.

The party and gift-giving time is a true community effort.

DHR provides the names and gift lists of children to the Kiwanis Club, with club members volunteering to play Santa and shop for the youngsters. Greenville High School Key Club members assist by wrapping and helping hand out the gifts.

Following a meal of chicken strips and all the fixins,' topped off with Christmas cupcakes (courtesy of Nannie's Fine Dining), jolly old Saint Nick himself entered the room to cheers and applause.

Santa made his way to the stage at the Boys and Girls Club, where he waited to give each child a hug and a chance to pose for a photo.

As bags brimming with toys, games and clothing were passed out one by one to the children, some were so eager to greet Santa they raced up to the platform before their names were even called.

Everyone gathered on stage afterwards for a group shot with Santa, who said he was delighted as always to visit with the children of Greenville.

&#8220We want to give a special thank you to Wal-Mart, especially June Earnest and Manager Bill McCrary, who provided us with grant monies allowing us to help more children than ever this year,” said Rhodes, speaking on behalf of Underprivileged

Children Chairman, Susan Murphy.

&#8220We also appreciate Miss Darnell, who was so patient in ringing all those gifts out for us at Wal-Mart.”

$3,500 in toys and other gifts were given out Tuesday by the Kiwanians to children in Butler County.

&#8220We are happy we were able to contribute grant monies to the Kiwanis for this project, and that they graciously chose to put the money back into the store when they came shopping,” McCrary said.

&#8220We appreciate what the Kiwanis Club does for Greenville and are glad to be a part of it.”