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Local Santa’s Workshop Enables Kids to Share the Gift of Giving

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Silver Bay Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) hosted the annual Santa’s Workshop on December 6th, transforming the William Kelley School cafeteria into a bustling hub of affordable gift-giving for children.

The workshop featured a wide array of gifts ranging from $1 to $10 with vendors marking down their items to ensure affordability and make it possible for children to select presents for their loved ones. Student volunteers assisted their younger peers by wrapping presents, manning tables, and even helping the shoppers pick out presents.

Parents, under the “no peeking” rule, were treated to a cozy retreat in the Teacher’s Lounge where they enjoyed coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies, made by PTO member Terry Blood.

A portion of the proceeds from the workshop were donated back to the PTO, supporting future initiatives. The event garnered its biggest turnout to date, with a wide variety of vendors and lots of little shoppers.

Businesses and individuals within the community also contributed cash and items for the workshop. To address a shortage of men’s items, some of the funds were allocated accordingly to help make sure that there was something for everyone.

Geri Sando, treasurer of the PTO, made crocheted items for the event. A resident of Silver Bay, Geri has been a dedicated member of the PTO for five years. She expressed her joy in witnessing the growth of the workshop, stating, “The kids just love it. The smiles on their faces… it’s so much fun to do.”

This was the 4th year of the workshop. “This year is the biggest we’ve had,” Geri said. “It’s getting more and more popular.”

In a post on the PTO’s Facebook page celebrating “Another Santa’s Workshop in the Books”, volunteer Donna McCurdy-Wolke was thanked for going above and beyond as she does every year. “You can always count on Donna,” the post assures. Volunteers, vendors, and all those involved also received a call out for making the event successful.

There remains a need for more volunteers, such as more gift wrappers, to ensure efficiency during the event. Santa has been absent from the workshop, though Mrs. Claus is able to take time from her busy schedule to attend. The PTO is always looking for someone with a direct line to ask Mr. Claus (and his Santa suit) to consider volunteering next year.

All vendors are encouraged to participate in the upcoming years, as the event aims to offer a diverse range of items for young shoppers.

The workshop is strategically scheduled on the same day as the elementary school winter program, allowing parents to seamlessly transition from the concert to Santa’s Workshop. The community is invited to join. The event is open to all, not just those with children at William Kelley School.

As the Silver Bay PTO continues the magic of Santa’s Workshop, the event serves as a heart-warming testament to the community’s dedication to spreading holiday joy and creating lasting memories for its youngest members.

Thank you to all who helped make Santa’s Workshop happen! No coal in your stockings!

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