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Kids Day brings joy to more than 500 children

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
The Christmas spirit of giving to those less fortunate was never more evident that it was on Friday, Dec. 15, at the 59th annual Hartselle Kids Day, a benevolent project sponsored by John F. Thompson American Legion Post 52 and its Auxiliary.
The event was staged in the auditorium at Sparkman Civic Center and was attended by more than 500 children of ages five through nine. They represented elementary schools in Hartselle, Falkville, Danville-Neel, Sparkman, Lacey’s Spring, Ryan and Union Hill.
Each child received a nice, individually-wrapped gift from Santa and a bag of fruit and candy.
Santa had the help of over 20 volunteers. Legionnaire Bill Partridge and James Shaffran announced the names of the participants with the help of Hartselle High student Whitney Dugger and Legion auxiliary member Elena Cleek. Lindsey Roberts handed out candy canes and Hartselle High varsity baseball players Luke Holt, Zac Bodley, J. C. Bates, Caleb Murphy and Will Chappell picked up gifts and carried them to Santa.
Santa arrived shortly after 9 a.m., greeting the children as they sang “Here Comes Santa Claus.”
Sparkman’s students were the first to get in line to receive their gifts. Falkville students were the last to visit Santa two hours later.
Marlon Tapscott, a school bus driver for Crestline School, added, “This is my first time to come and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s just a joy to listen and watch the kids when they get their gifts from Santa.”
Project Chairman Jerry Cleek expressed appreciation to everyone who had a hand in making the program a success.

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