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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Santa, Knights help fulfill Christmas wishes

  • Santa was back at St. Patrick Parish gymnasium on Saturday, Dec. 14, with his list checked twice for around 110 area children with their families who otherwise may not have had much of a Christmas
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  • Santa was back at St. Patrick Parish gymnasium on Saturday, Dec. 14, with his list checked twice for around 110 area children with their families who otherwise may not have had much of a Christmas.
    It was the annual Christmas party hosted by St. Patrick Parish's Rolla Knights of Columbus Council 2627.
    Since the early 1990s the Knights have been hosting this event for children and families in need.
    "We are making sure that the kids are getting what they want," said Mike Meyer, who along with his fiancee, Judy Bell, has been coordinating the event for the past four years. "This might be the only present that they get. "
    The afternoon started off with a festive lunch of pizza, hot dogs and Christmas cookies.
    The kids then lined up to sit on Santa's lap and told Jolly Old St. Nick what they were hoping for.
    "We wanted to make sure each child gets a present for Christmas. We don't want to see one child go without Christmas," Meyer said.
    Each year the Knights talk with the children's parents before the party and try to find what interests each child has.
    This leads to a long afternoon or two of shopping in the toy section of Walmart for Meyer and his team of volunteers. Then there is the gift wrapping.
    "We want to get something we know they are going to enjoy ... that this is what they want and this will make their Christmas," Meyer told the Daily News.
    There were lots of wide eyes and big smiles as kids ripped open the wrapping paper and checked out their new toys.
    "This is the best part, " Meyer explained. "It's worth it to see the joy in these kids faces. That is what it is all about. Christmas is about the children and about them having a good time."

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