ZANESVILLE, Ohio- A special guest made a second trip to Zanesville this week to help spread some holiday cheer to kids in need.
The Zanesville Kiwanis Club hosted their annual Christmas party for kids at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Bridget Tetak, Immediate Past President of Kiwanis, said the club hosts this party each year for kids across Muskingum County who may not have Christmas otherwise.
“We buy for 60 kids in the area who need some extra holiday cheer whether it’s a financial need or some kids in the past it’s just been that they’ve had a rough year with things other than school or family,” said Tetak. “So we just like to let the teachers and the staff pick those who need some extra cheer for the holiday season.”
Like the Rotary Christmas party, the Kiwanis Club hosts children from different schools and buys them presents from the wish lists they wrote for Santa.
“So we’re very similar in that we’re just service organizations who want to reach out and help the community. So we’re happy that they do that and then we can reach out and get different kids so that we reach a larger population in the school system.”
The kids were treated to a lunch of pizza and pop before the special guest made his landing.
“Santa will be here. I heard that he left the North Pole not long ago so he should be arriving anytime soon.”
And once he arrived, the kids were filled with laughter and excitement.
“Just seeing the smiles on the kids faces when Santa comes and when they get to open their gifts and everything,” said Olivia Corder the Lieutenant Govenor of Division 18 West Kiwanis Key Club. “So it’s very exciting from a Key Clubbers standpoint to watch how you can just by being here influence someone’s actions.”
The Key Clubbers served as Santa’s helpers getting the gifts ready for the kids.
“As Key Clubbers, Kiwanis asked us to help Santa pick out toys and gifts and things that the kids might be interested in because we are closer to their age so we know what they want.”
Santa says Rudolph and the other reindeer gave him a bit of a hard time on his trip to Zanesville, but even still the joy of the children made the journey worthwhile.
“Santa loves to be a part of it. And they do a real good job with these children. These children are very, very, very loving,” Santa shared. “It just makes my heart get bigger all the time because they are all from the heart. And that’s what I like about Christmas. You give each other something.”
Santa Claus also took a moment to visit with a little girl who is hearing impaired sending a personal message.