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Kids Day aims to reach 420

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's 58th annual Kids Day will treat 420 kids of needy families with individually wrapped gifts and bags of fruit and candy Friday, Dec. 9, at Sparkman Civic Center.
The project is sponsored by John F. Thompson American Legion Post 52 and its Auxiliary.
"We'll have about the same number of kids participate this year as we had last year even though Union Hill School was added," John Paul Johnson, post commander, said.
"Financially, we're in pretty good shape. A $2,000 contribution from Wal-Mart after last year's expenses were met was a big help. But we'll have to look to the community for additional support next year if we continue to have 400 or more kids participate."
This year's participants will come from kindergarten through fourth grade classes at Crestline, Barkley Bridge and F.E. Burleson elementary schools in Hartselle, Danville-Neel, Falkville, Cotaco, Eva, Sparkman, Ryan and Union Hill.
Jerry Cleek, who is serving on the Kids Day Committee with Bill Hart, John Wyble and Johnson, said toy and gift items were purchased from a wholesale toy distributor in Huntsville and will be gift wrapped by volunteers at the civic center Thursday (today).
"In addition to the gifts we've purchased, we have a large quantity of educational gift items that were donated by Donna Maze of Volunteers of America. These also will be distributed," Cleek said.
Santa and his helpers distribute gifts to participants individually as their names are called. The process begins at about 9:30 a.m. and lasts a couple of hours.
"It's a joy and a blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the kids when they receive their gifts," Johnson said. "Without Kids Day, they wouldn't have much of a Christmas."