Christ­mas spirit alive in Bay Roberts

Bay Roberts Sparks give gifts to Santa for Happy Tree

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NICHOLASMERCER

The Bay Roberts Sparks have a sim­ple motto that goes some­thing like this, ‘I prom­ise to share and be a friend.’

On Dec. 3, the 28 young girls and their lead­ers showed ex­actly what that meant.

While the wind and the rain made life mis­er­able out­side of the Grace United Church on Co­ley’s Point, the Sparks were mak­ing things warm on the in­side.

As spe­cial guest Santa Claus sat in front of a 10-foot tall, com­pletely dec­o­rated Christ­mas tree, the more than two-dozen Sparks lined up, cradling gifts in their arms.

Th­ese gifts are des­tined for the KIXX Coun­try Toy Tree at the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Square Mall in Car­bon­ear.

From there, the gifts will be dis­trib­uted to chil­dren who need them prior to Christ­mas.

One-by-one each Spark — ages 5-6 — handed their gift to Santa and then posed for a pic­ture with Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick.

The gifts in­cluded dolls, toy houses, and an as­sort­ment of other chil­dren’s toys.

As each gift was placed un­der the tree, Santa be­came vis­i­bly jol­lier and jol­lier.

His trade­mark laugh be­came heartier and his cheeks rosier.

Af­ter all of the gifts had been given to the big man, he sat down for his favourite meal of milk and cook­ies with the Sparks.

While sat down, Santa was asked a bar­rage of ques­tions by the in­quir­ing young girls.

One asked him to guess the name of her Elf on the Shelf, while another was amazed he knew her name.

Af­ter a short time, Santa had to leave for a meet­ing with his elves at the North Pole.

Six-year-old Kayleigh Flynn was one of the young girls giv­ing gifts.

She said she felt “happy” giv­ing the gifts to Santa.

“I liked giv­ing gifts to other kids,” said Kayleigh with a big smile.

Per­haps the big­gest sur­prise for the Sparks was the ar­rival of Santa.

Nor­mally, gift giv­ing such as this is done with­out any no­tice­able fan­fare.

Chil­dren show up with the gifts, place them un­der the tree and go about their evening of ac­tiv­i­ties.

How­ever, Santa puts a fes­tive spin on the pro­ceed­ings.

“I was ex­cited to see Santa,” said Kayleigh, her smile grow­ing even wider.

Giv­ing back

Deanna Pet­ten is one of the lead­ers with the group.

She said the idea be­hind the gift dona­tion was pay­ing things for­ward and giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity.

“We thought it would be good for them to give back to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity that do not have as much as they do,” said Pet­ten. “In­stead of get­ting a gift, they brought a gift to give.”

She said see­ing Santa was just an added bonus for the chil­dren.

“They love Santa,” said Pet­ten.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

The Sparks in Bay Roberts do­nated gifts to the KIXX Coun­try Toy Tree on Dec. 3 at Grace United Church on Co­ley’s Point. The young mem­bers of the group give a gift each to spe­cial guest Santa Claus. Those who gave gifts are (left to right): back – lead­ers Lisa Franey with Dawn Franey, An­gela Oliver, Al­li­son His­cock, Santa Claus, Deanna Pet­ten and Michelle Flynn; front row – Ciera Daw­son, Han­nah Loder, Chelsea Dawe and Emma Mug­ford; sec­ond row – Paige Mercer, Car­rie Mor­gan, So­phie Loder and Brianna Earle; third row – Is­abella Bishop, Lily Mercer, Keira Mercer, Ab­bi­gail Slaney-Hussey and Ad­di­son Hussey; fourth row – Lauren Fo­ley, El­iz­a­beth Navarro and Brid­get Franey; fifth row – Sally Smith, Kelsey Fi­field, Kate Drover, Robyn Pet­ten, Emma Yet­man, Gabrielle Neville, Ken­dra Neville, Kayleigh Flynn and Claire His­cock. Miss­ing from photo are Anna Rodriguez, Brooke Nightin­gale, Kim­ber­ley Bartlett.

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