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Kiwanis make holiday bright

More than 100 area high school students were up and ready to shop Saturday morning as part of the annual Kiwanis Club shopping event aimed at making Christmas brighter for area children.

Susan Hay, president of the Brewton Kiwanis Club, said the group was able to shop for clothes and Christmas goodies for 120 children from the area this year.

“We are happy to be able to do this each year,” hay said. “I’m excited about how well everything went this year. We were only able to have two of our regular fundraisers this year, but we did well and were able to do this event again.”

Hay said the steak dinner and sales of hams and turkeys for the holidays has been successful and helped provide funding needed to shop this year.

“We did well this year with the two fundraisers we were able to have,” Hay said. “One other fundraiser is the pancake breakfast that we have before the Blueberry Festival. Since the festival didn’t happen this year, we were not able to host that fundraiser. But, we were still able to serve these children and we are happy to do that.”

Of the 120 children on the Kiwanis list this year, only 20 were unable to be at the Saturday morning shopping event.

“We will be making arrangements to get with those children who couldn’t be with us on Saturday,” Hay said. “We certainly want to get them what they need now.”

Jim Hildreth, past president of the group, said fundraisers and donations help them to keep this tradition alive for the club and the children of the community.

“We have several fundraisers through the year that help us get the funding we need to be able to do this shopping,” Hildreth said. “We have had some generous donations as well. All of that makes it possible for us to shop each year and make Christmas a little nicer for this children.”

Students from W.S. Neal High School, T.R. Miller High School and Flomaton High School were on hand to help with shopping duties. High school volunteers were paired up with a child from the shopping list and assisted in choosing items for the child. Each child shopped for clothes, shoes and even a few special items during the event.

Hay said plans for the new year are already in place with the awarding of scholarships to area seniors.

“Our next big thing will be awarding scholarships to students to attend Coastal Alabama College,” Hay said. “We will be typically choose two students from each school to receive those scholarships. That is the next big thing on our list of activities.”

Hay said the Brewton Kiwanis is always looking to increase their membership and will be on the hunt for new members this year.

“Depending on how COVID goes, we hope to be back into a normal routine in the coming weeks,” Hay said. “We are just now having our weekly meetings again and hope to add speakers back to our meetings in the near future. We look forward to pump up our participating and get more people involved with what we do in the community.”

The Brewton Kiwanis group meets at noon each Tuesday at David’s Catfish House. To learn more about what the Kiwanis group does in the Brewton area, contact Hay, Hildreth or any other member of the organization.

To get a glimpse from the Saturday shopping event held at Brewton’s Walmart, see page 13 of today’s edition.