Bay Roberts Sparks give gifts to Santa
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.
© 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.
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.
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.