Jaycees bringing Santa to foster kids

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 4, 1999

The Greenville Jaycees in cooperation with the Department of Human Resources and the Junior Women's League are working to make the holidays a little brighter for the foster children of Butler County.

The Annual foster children's Christmas party, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at the YMCA, will be marked again this year by a visit from Santa Claus who will have his bag stuffed with gifts for the kids and plenty of jolly good cheer.

Co-chairman for the event this year, David Scott, said the party is the largest charity sponsored by the Jaycees each year, and that the organization works all year to make sure the season is bright for every child involved.

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"Most of our fund-raising events throughout the year go to sponsor this one big event," Scott said. The main thing is to get gifts to these children and help them have a merry Christmas. That is what this season is all about."

Co-chairman Brian Reynolds said this year's fund-raiser was a charity golf tournament held at Cambrian Ridge Golf Course that raised about $4,000, and that the funds were used to purchase gifts for the children from a wish list gathered by DHR.

"If funds are available we will be buying presents for some foster children outside Butler County too," Reynolds said. "We want to make sure the kids have a good Christmas and we try to help as many as we can."

Reynolds said the Junior Women's League assisted with the event by doing all the shopping and giftwraping. He said in past years, rental storage facilities have been used to store the gifts, but the Women's League made arrangements to store them at the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Office

DHR representative Susan Sorrells said the party has been an annual event throughout her 22 years with the department, and that this year about 40 foster children and their foster parents will be attending the party to get a glimpse of ole

Saint Nick while he passes out gifts. She said the Jaycees have been involved in the party for about eight years, and the organization works each year to make it a success for everyone.

"The children range in ages from infant to 19, and we get a wish list for three items from each one," she said.

She said the ADK teacher's sorority also helps by providing gifts for children who in residential treatment facilities

or therapeutic foster homes. She said ADK will be filling the wish lists for about 10 such children's who will be celebrating Christmas in their foster homes.

Junior Women's League treasurer Carol Lee said about 15 women from the league shopped local stores for the gifts in about three hours. She said this is the first year her organization has helped in this capacity, but she hopes it will become a Christmas tradition.

"The Jaycees help us each year with the Junior Miss Program, and we're returning the favor by assisting them with the party," she said. "We have helped in the past by making ornaments and decorations, but this was the first year we did the shopping."