Jaycees bring joy to foster children

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 20, 2003

The Greenville Jaycees delivered pizza, presents and plenty of smiles to area foster children on Wednesday night during their annual Butler County Foster Children Christmas party at the Greenville YMCA.

Approximately 19 youngsters and their foster families attended the holiday event, which was hosted by the Jaycees and staff members from the Butler County Department of Human Resources.

&uot;This is a wonderful time for the kids, they look forward to these parties each year,&uot; DHR Program Supervisor Susan Sorrells said.

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While the number of youth attending the function was down this year, Sorrells explained many Butler County foster children were currently being served &uot;out of the area,&uot;

&uot;Right now, we have a number of children who are in treatment or placement outside of the county who aren’t in regular foster homes this year,&uot; she noted.

Foster parent Mickey Skipper, pastor of Mills Chapel Church of God, led everyone in a prayer before a buffet meal of ‘all-you-can eat’ pizza, cookies and soft drinks was enjoyed by the attendees.

Here comes Santa Claus!

The most anxiously awaited part of the evening was, of course, the arrival of Santa. Jaycee David Rogers ably assisted Saint Nick (Jaycee Rhett Idland) in handing out the presents, with the children getting to pose for a photo with the jolly old elf as they received their gifts.

&uot;Oh, wow, more Barbie stuff,&uot; squealed one excited little girl as she ripped paper and bows from a box to reveal a fashion doll play set. Smiles abounded across the room as dolls, video games, radio-controlled vehicles and other longed-for items were revealed.

Making wishes come true

Of course, Santa can use a helping hand this time of year and the Greenville Jaycees stepped in to do just that.

&uot;Each foster child turned in a wish list. Then each Jaycee took a list and went shopping for that child,&uot; explained Jaycee Adam Prestridge.

Everyone smiled as the very last gift, one that been tucked away in the facility’s kitchen, was brought out to its recipient. The youngster had been anxiously waiting to hear his name called out.

As his shiny new multi-speed bicycle was wheeled out of hiding, the little boy’s eyes lit up. ‘Oh, man, oh, man, this is cool,&uot; he said.

This is the Jaycee’s primary philanthropic program each year.

Throughout the year, the Jaycees raise funds that are spent on the foster children.

Their biggest fundraiser will take place at 8 p.m. tonight at the Butler County Fairgrounds. The musical act is Time Bandits Band that plays oldies and party music.

Tickets are $10 each at the door.

This event is for those 21 years old or older and coolers are welcome.