Santa stops by DBHS to visit children

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 14, 2003

COAL GROVE - While many people are shoving their way through the malls and stressing over their unfinished shopping lists, Shyanne Wilson just wants Barbie doll furniture.

The 5-year-old Coal Grove resident, along with hundreds of other children, filed into Dawson-Bryant High School's cafetorium Saturday morning for the Coal Grove Lions Club's and Coal Grove Betterment Club's Breakfast with Santa. All entertainment, food and the visit with Santa was free.

Robin Wilson, Shyanne's mother, was beaming as her daughter visited with Santa.

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"This is great for the village and this is great for the Betterment and Lion's clubs to do this," she said. "This is our third year and we look forward to doing this."

Sue Triplett, Betterment Club president, said the Lions Club donated all of the food and cooked it while the Betterment Club provided treat bags. Local businesses also chipped in. Boy Scout Troop, Venture Crew and Cub Scout Troop 103 bussed tables and made sure patrons had condiments and silverware.

"It's for the village - the children of the village," Triplett said. "We hope more kids will come in next year. We'll fix them treat bags. We hope all the village kids will enjoy themselves."

Entertainers included Dawson-Bryant Middle School seventh-grader Katy Owens, Coal Grove resident Doris Collins and Dawson-Bryant Elementary kindergarten students singing as and Gary Boothe making balloon animals. Triplett said the Betterment Club prepared 300 treat bags, and very few were left when the last child visited Santa.

Lions Club member Tom Carey donned the famous red suit and white beard Saturday morning. Carey listened as many children told him what they wanted, but one girl's request stood out in his mind.

"I saw an 11-year-old girl and that's when they're usually getting to the place where they're a little more mature," he said. "She said the only thing she wanted was all the love her family had today to last through the year. That was the best one today.

"I've had 500 Barbie doll orders, 300 motorcycle orders and that one little girl asked for the one thing special. She knows what Christmas is all about."

The breakfast, Carey said, is the Lions Club's way to give back to a community that has given so much to the club, whose work is mainly centered on sight-saving projects.

"Coal Grove traditionally has been a tight-knit community," he said. "I've lived here all my life. We help each other and we work together. The community supports us and we, in turn, support them."