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Civitan Club Brightens Christmas for Children

Civitan Club member Tina Bugg hands a gift bag to Santa Claus for a child. Club members standing behind her are Trish Parks, Gerald Wegman and President Lesley Raines. (Photos by Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today)

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

The Corinth Civitan Club brought smiles to children’s faces Wednesday by hosting a special pizza lunch with Santa Claus.

Santa told the 16 children from the local elementary schools that he loved them. All of the children got to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.

Santa gave all of the children a bag of toys and a candy cane during the luncheon at Pizza Grocery. The kindergarten and first-grade students attended with their teachers.

The fun did not end there for the children. Civitan Club members then took the children to Belk and Joe’s Shoes, which both provided discounts for the good cause. Each of the children got a new pair of shoes and assortment of apparel.

Corinth Civitans President Lesley Raines said the annual Kids Christmas is the club’s “premiere” event. It warms his heart to hear the children talk to Santa Claus. People never know when they might change a child’s life, he added.

In addition to helping the 16 children at the luncheon, the club also supported local special needs students.

The Civitan Club is involved in other local philanthropy as well, such as the college scholarships it awards each year to a senior from each local high school. Recently, those scholarships were increased from $500 to $750, Raines noted.

He expressed gratitude to those who support the Civitan Club, including anonymous donors and Modern Woodmen.

The club raises money in other ways such as offering services at the Crossroads Arena, selling fruitcakes and steaks and selling art prints of famous pilot and Corinth native Roscoe Turner.

Despite all the good the Civitan Club does for the community, Santa could not help but give a few of the members a lump of coal on Wednesday. (It was actually candy).

The Civitan Club is all about “giving back to children,” Raines has said. The organization has an international research center in Birmingham, Ala. that researches disorders such as autism, brain tumors, Down syndrome and epilepsy.

Civitan International celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, and the local club recently marked 60 years.

Santa Claus gives a lump of coal (candy) to Civitan member Darlene Watkins as member Joe Garrett sits by.

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