CG gets start on Christmas

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

COAL GROVE - Santa Claus paid an early visit to Coal Grove Saturday.

Boys and girls - who were good all year long - had the chance to put a bug in Santa's ear about what they'd like to see under their tree come Christmas morning.

Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Coal Grove Betterment Club and the Coal Grove Lions Club, has been one of the regular stops on Santa's social calendar for the last four years.

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Five-year-old Dylan Johnson asked Santa for "a guitar, drums and a doctor kit."

His mom, Lori Johnson, said chances were pretty good Dylan would indeed wake up and find those items waiting for him.

Another budding musician, Jesse Ferguson, asked Santa for drums and a stage on which to play them. Does Jesse still believe in the jolly fat man?

"Oh, yes," his mother, Angela Ferguson, said. "I had no trouble getting him to sit on Santa's lap. I took pictures and everything."

Kaylee Pitsenbarger may not fare so well with her Christmas list.

"I want a pet dog," she said matter-of-factly. "It has to be real."

Kaylee's mom, Michelle Pitsenbarger, frowned at the mention of a pup, but said Kaylee's request for a Princess Barbie was more likely to get parental approval.

An estimated 500 to 600 people gathered at the Dawson-Bryant High School Cafetorium Saturday morning to savor a pancakes-and-sausage breakfast.

"We've just about ran out of everything," Lions Club member Alvin Boyd said as he flipped flap jacks. "An hour ago, (10 a.m.), you couldn't get in here, there wasn't a place to sit. We had people lined up along the wall."

Betterment Club member Beverly Gillen said she was pleased not only with the turnout but the way people got into the Christmas spirit by getting involved with the annual event.

Dawson-Bryant Band Director Tom Zerkle played Christmas music while high school student Katie Owens sang holiday songs; fellow student Brad Jenkins was emcee for the event, betterment club members passed out treat bags to the kids while Lions Club members prepared the food.

Boy Scout troop 103 and the Venture Club helped

with logistics and local businessman Tom Brammer donned that fancy red suit.

"The community gets together, the whole thing is free," Gillen said. "It's what we call 'Christmas in the village.' It's our way of bringing the community together and just giving back a little bit."