Volunteers  retrieve gifts from huge boxes as Santa visits with Day Participants.  | Clif Knight
Volunteers retrieve gifts from huge boxes as Santa visits with Day Participants. | Clif Knight

Archived Story

Kids Day attended by more than 300 students

Published 9:25pm Saturday, December 14, 2013

The lights on the American Legion Post 53 Christmas Tree flashed a little brighter Friday morning, as more than 300 kids of needy families assembled in the Sparkman Civic Center gym to take part in the Legion’s 2013 Kids Day program.

Each student received an age-appropriate, wrapped gift from Santa and his helpers along with a bag of fruit and candy.

“We appreciate so much all of the work and effort that goes into this,” said Carla Landers, a special education aide at Sparkman School. “All of our children love Christmastime. They look forward to Kids Day all year.”

“When we get back to school, we’ll have a gift-opening party,” she added. It’s so much fun for them and a real blessing to us just to get to see the smiles on their faces,”

One of the observers at Kids Day was J.B. Lawrence, a World War II veteran who helped organize the first Kids Day in 1947.

“I remember we took the kids to see a movie at the Strand Theatre on Main Street at the first Kids Day,’ Lawrence recalled. “ Horace Roberts had a department store and he took coats and shoes and gave to kids that didn’t have a coat or were wearing shoes with holes in the soles.”

Students in kindergarten through fourth grade are invited to participate as long as they are cleared by their parents and school staffs. Sparkman Junior High School was made an exception this year as all of its students were invited. Other schools represented were Falkville, Danville and Eva.

“I still enjoy coming back and watching the young kids react to Santa and see the smiles on their faces when they receive their gifts,” Roberts added.

Volunteers worked behind Santa to make sure each child received a candy cane and an age-appropriate gift. They included Denise Posey, Michelle Martin, William Kube, McKayla Hill, Barbara Young, Bryan Jones, Cindy Garrard, Breeanna Jones, Gayle Jones Evelyn Belmont, Greg Jones and Jay Lawrence.

Project co-chairpersons were Nancy Train and Jerry Cleek.

Kids Day participants express their excitement after receiving gifts from Santa at Kids Day in Hartselle on Friday. | Clif Knight
Kids Day participants express their excitement after receiving gifts from Santa at Kids Day in Hartselle on Friday. | Clif Knight
Amber Train, three, talks with Santa as preparations were being made for the 2013 American Legion Post 52 Kids Day on Friday. | Clif Knight
Amber Train, three, talks with Santa as preparations were being made for the 2013 American Legion Post 52 Kids Day on Friday. | Clif Knight

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