Santa joins 200 children and their families in EHDA holiday celebration

Published 9:08 am Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NW1223 Housing Christmas Party H 4x5C

Santa Claus came to town Monday, and he came to town to party.
The Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency hosted its annual Christmas party Monday afternoon complete with snacks, games, Christmas movies, presents and, of course, Santa.
EHDA Director Kelly Geagley said around 200 children received presents during the Christmas party. The presents were donated to the EHDA by the local chapter of the Ghostriders.
The group hosted a toy drive at Wal-Mart during the summer and collected the new toys that were donated specifically for the EHDA. Geagley said around 10 large bags of toys were given to the EHDA children.
“It really is overwhelming what they bring in,” Geagley said. “Every child should get at least three Christmas gifts at the party.”
After a reading of the Christmas story, the children and their parents got the opportunity they had been waiting for since the party started: to meet the jolly old elf in red.
Ashley Bean said meeting Santa was the highlight of the party for her children.
“This is the first time this year they have all got to see him together,” she said. “That is am the one able to be here with them is nice.”
11-year-old Carissa Morgan waited her turn in line to share her Christmas wish list with Santa. What she wants is a telephone.
“Seeing Santa is definitely the best part,” she said. “The party’s fun because I get to hang out with my family.”
The party has been a tradition at the EHDA for more than 30 years. Geagley described it as his favorite work day of the year.
“All the children come, and the party puts joy on their faces,” he said. “Everyone is happy, and Santa’s here.”
Geagley said many of the children would not receive any gifts, or not many at all, without the assistance of the Ghostriders making the additional presents possible.
“This is what it’s all about,” Geagley said, looking on as the children received their presents from Santa. “We love being able to give and make sure they see Santa before Christmas.”

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