‘Twas nine days before Christmas at the Harrison County Child Development Center

Santa and his wife were also busy today stopping by the Harrison County School District.

A 52-year annual tradition and holiday give away by the Biloxi Elks Lodge at the Harrison County Child Development Center is still going strong, although there’s been a change of venue due to COVID.

‘Twas nine days before Christmas on these Gulfport school grounds when Santa and Mrs. Claus dropped in making early holiday rounds.

It’s a Christmas tradition each year by the Elks Lodge you see, Post 606, you know the one in Biloxi, even though this year’s event unfolded at this different scene. Elks Lodge member Eva Stockstill said, “COVID has taken a toll. Normally they come to the Lodge, and they sing and dance for us at the Lodge, and we have lunch and breakfast and more for them. This year however, we couldn’t do that due to COVID, so we wanted to bring the Christmas spirit to the kids this year.”

Fifty-two years and it’s still going strong. This year, even Gulfport fire fighters tagged along, armed with so many gifts for the kids, they could barely carry them all! Harrison County Child Development Principal Rebecca Parker said, “Firefighters are always a big help, and they do a lot for our school in general, so we were really glad they were here today.”

“Each one of the children gets a gift from us each year. We work all year long to raise the money. Santa makes sure that every child, including the teachers and workers’ children, gets a present,” said Stockstill.

Joy-filled teachers and students stood gladly in line. Some of them even carrying thank you signs! “They have presents for all of them. They’re wonderful. They do such a nice job each year for our kids, and we so appreciate it.”

Principal Rebecca Parker was also there, too, reporting to Santa all the good little boys and girls at this school! “Absolutely, we have the best students here at the Harrison County Child Development Center.”

Special-made gifts tailor-made for each kid, thanks to year-round donations to fulfill their wish lists!

But we know all good things must come to an end. With no reindeer in sight, Santa left with the Elks instead. “This is what the true spirit of Christmas and Elkdom is all about!”

Santa exclaimed as he dashed out of sight “Merry Christmas to all!”

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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