Steve and Gloria Jordan, owners of Turf Masters Lawn Care, have been sponsoring the shopping extravaganza called Visions of Sugarplums along with the City of Pascagoula for the past five years. The aisles at the Pascagoula Walmart were busy with holiday shoppers Wednesday. All young students had made a list and were checking it twice. Kalieah Rostchild, a 4th grader at Central Elementary School, says, "We got a sister too! And now you got to find something for Erica. Ok, and our sister. Let’s find something for Erica."
It was a family affair for some, including the Rostchild sisters. Kalieah was armed and ready. She had done her homework. Kalieah also says, “Every time we went to Walmart, they wanted it, so I picked it out for them for Christmas."
The sisters were three of 24 students in the city school district handpicked by their school principals, all a perfect fit for the program, which started five years ago by the owners of Turf Masters Lawn Care. It started with just one child. Courtney Green of Turf Masters Lawn Care says, "This is something important to Steve and Gloria because they feel that God has blessed them much in their lives and this is just the way they want to give back to the community."
The students learned about the gift of giving and they also got a hands on lesson in the value of a dollar. Anne Pitre, Public Relations Specialist for Pascagoula, says, "Three hundred dollars feels like all the money in the world to an 8 or 9 year old kid, so we took the time this morning to talk about what they plan to buy, who all they plan to buy for, and went over their list."
It was something coordinators hope these faces of the future will pay forward one day. Suzanne Steinberger, Community Events Coordinator for Pascagoula, says, "We do talk to them about giving. It’s a really important part of this program. We want them to remember their family members through this season as well as themselves. To give now is what we want them to do in the future. It’s always good to give back."
Other program sponsors include Raisin’ Cane’s and Crazy B’s Coffee & Confections. The annual event is growing each year and in need of more sponsors. If you or your business would like to take part, you’re asked to call the City of Pascagoula to sign up.