Community effort to make Christmas merry for many

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

PROCTORVILLE — In the Village of Proctorville Santa Claus comes in many shapes and sizes, but all who work to put on the annual children’s Christmas party have only one goal in mind — helping out the youth in their community.

About 10 years ago, a Proctorville resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, came to the village with a donation to buy gifts for children who weren’t going to have a Christmas.

“First it was to buy gifts for children who didn’t have very much,” Pam Legg, village administrator, said. “Then we had enough money, we could do it for all the children.”

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Now it’s a party everyone looks forward to.

“We collect names from all the kids in town and have a pizza party and buy gifts for any kid who wants to sign up,” Legg said.

This year the party will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at the village’s bingo hall.

“As long as the donations keep coming in, we continue to do it,” Legg said. “They have a good time. We give out fruit baskets to everyone who comes. Some of these kids it is the only Christmas they will get.”

Besides the fruit baskets the village also gives out hams to families.

“We try to help the whole family,” Legg said. “Every kid, whether they have a lot or not, every kid is invited to participate.”

Village employees hit the malls to buy gifts. Kenney Grant, who owns Gino’s, donates the pizzas and former Athalia mayor, Ron McClintock, dresses up to play Santa.

Presents are given out to children birth to 12 years old, but older siblings are invited to eat pizza.

“All village employees use their own time to do the party,” Legg said. “The council comes out to help. It is really a whole village effort. The whole town comes out for it.”