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Christmas comes early to Mt. Pleasant Area High School

| Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 6:49 p.m.
Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Antwaan Smith, 4, tells Santa what he wants for Christmas.
Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Adlar Tamblyn, 2, found a great spot to hang out and eat his popcorn ball.

Santa Claus came to Mt. Pleasant Area High School last week in the form of about 20 students, who traded in their school books for Christmas gifts as they handed out presents to area children.

The annual Toys for Christmas was held with students, who are all members of the school's student council, helping Santa to distribute toys to area children who attended the evening party.

“We have a little over 60 signed up this year,” said William Barber, student council faculty adviser. “That number is pretty consistent with what we have seen over the past few years.”

The event has been sponsored by the student council for 21 years, with Barber heading the group for the past 12 years.

“I think this is a nice evening for everyone,” Barber said.

The student council and the students from the National Honor Society joined forces over the summer and raised money by hosting a golf outing.

“Both groups did the outing, then we split the money,” Barber said. “We used our money to buy the gifts that we give out here. Each child receives a gift that is valued at between $20 and $25.”

Students were given lists of names of the children that were pre-registered and hit the stores, shopping for each child to find that special gift.

“We had a lot of fun,” said Carmen Kubasky, student council treasurer. “We just picked out the toys we thought they would like.”

Brooke Shumar, student council vice president, said the event is very rewarding.

“It's so great to see the expressions on their faces when they open their gifts,” Shumar, 18, said.

In addition to the gifts, the children were also given cookies and soft drinks as they all waited for their turns to see Santa and receive their presents.

“This is nice for the kids,” Barber said. Barber said he also received donations for the event. “It's something that we like to do.”

Students each took turns calling out names and handing the children the brightly wrapped presents and passed out treats to those who were waiting.

“This is just a nice thing to do,” Shumar said. “We not only get to help fill the kids' minds with joy, but we also get to help fill their hearts with joy.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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