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Children shop for gifts at Santa’s Gone Loonie

Students left Fort Macleod Chiropractic with plenty of gifts.

Students left Fort Macleod Chiropractic with plenty of gifts.

Santa Claus went loonie last week, much to the delight of W.A. Day school students.
The Santa’s Gone Loonie event at Fort Macleod Chiropractic gave children a chance to shop for Christmas gifts.
Fort Macleod community members donated items — with each one priced at $1 — to make sure the young children had a chance to buy gifts for their parents and family members.
“I really wanted to find some way to bring the spirit of giving to the kids,” organizer Lacey Poytress said.
Poytress was familiar with Santa’s Gone Loonie events from ones a cousin hosted in Lethbridge and Claresholm. She had also seen examples on-line as fund-raisers.
“I thought this was a great opportunity for them to be here without parents and siblings and to be able to actually get gifts and feel that spirit of giving,” Poytress said.
Poytress decided to focus on the youngest children in the community this year, and W.A. Day school principal Richard Feller quickly gave his support.
A call went out to the community for donations of new or gently-used items and the response was overwhelming.
“It was a constant stream of people wanting to donate,” Poytress said, adding that two people donated money to ensure every child was able to buy gifts.
Poytress and Ashley Nelson sorted out the gifts and laid them out on tables supplied by the Town of Fort Macleod and set up in space donated by Fort Macleod Chiropractic.
Ten to 15 people also volunteered to help Dec. 15 when Santa’s Gone Loonie was held, assisting children with their shopping and wrapping the presents.
“It was a huge response from the community,” Poytress said.
Teachers from W.A. Day school brought the classes one at a time, and the children received some shopping hints from Poytress before they began their hunt for the perfect gift.
“It’s been amazing,” Poytress said. “I think I would love to make this an annual thing.”

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