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Civitans provides Christmas magic to kids


Staff photo by L.A. Story

By L.A. Story

lastory@dailycorinthian.com

With the distinctive jingle of sleigh bells, Santa Claus crashed a Civitan luncheon Wednesday.

The jolly old elf himself surprised several youngsters who were enjoying a pizza party with the local Civitan club Wednesday at Pizza Grocery.

It was the beginning of the annual Corinth Civitans Christmas event for area kids.

The Civitans and 18 children began the afternoon with pizza, chicken tenders, french fries and dessert pizzas. Civitan president Zeb Taylor served as the Master of Ceremonies for their magical day and he let them know the day was all about them.

In the middle of the meal, bells jingled from the hall and Santa arrived to give gifts and visit with each special girl and boy.

Each child walked up when their name was called and accepted a bag of toys and a moment with Santa so they could whisper their fondest Christmas wishes.

Civitan vice-president and chair for the event Tina Bugg said the Christmas gathering for kids is one of the ways the civic club uses the funds it collects throughout the year to give back to the community.

"It's very special. It makes it all worthwhile," said Bugg. "It's the reason I joined Civitans many years ago — to help these kids out."

Teachers from the Corinth and Alcorn school districts selected the children who would participate in the special day.

They are all kindergarten and first grade students who might otherwise not have much in the way of Christmas.

Along with a luncheon and toys from Santa, the children were transported to Joe's Shoes to shop for a new pair of shoes and then to Belk for some clothes.

With 18 kids served this year, Bugg said it was the biggest group they have done so far and she was glad there were community partners to help.

"We have Pizza Grocery, the cancer support group, the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition, Joe's Shoes, Belk, Modern Woodmen ... it has really been a community partnership this year," said Bugg.

Judging by the expressions on the faces of the children, the Civitans and their community partners managed to help create some real Christmas magic.