The St. Edmond National Honor Society's annual Santa and a movie event isn't just fun for the kids; it's also a fundraiser for the society's Christmas
giving. "We adopt a family, and we use this money to buy gifts for the family," said Annie Kersten, a senior.
"It's a two-fold service project," said NHS moderator Tyler Philipsen. "Today is the first half where we raise the money. The second part is when we actually pick a family and buy gifts."
-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Klay Baker checks out a younger Santa Claus then he's used to at the St. Eds NHS Santa and a movie event. Baker asked Santa, played by NHS senior Thomas Woodruff, for spy stuff and new pajamas.
The students had an active role in organizing the project, Philipsen said. In the next week or two, the society will buy presents and wrap them, and send them to a deserving family. Philipsen became NHS
moderator three years ago, and the Santa event had been going on a few years before that, he said.
"I think a lot of parents use this time to shop. So I think that's part of the popularity. It's a good time of the year to provide some childcare," he said.
About 55 kids came for the afternoon, and were split into groups that played games in the gym, listened to Christmas stories, made a reindeer craft, and even got their picture taken with Santa. All but three of the 22 NHS students were there to help out, Philipsen said.
Philipsen was dressed as an elf, with pointy ears that the kids liked to pinch to see if they were real. Santa himself was played by another NHS senior,Thomas Woodruff.
"I think he was the one with the Santa costume," said Kersten. "And he likes little kids so I'm sure he didn't mind." Woodruff seemed to enjoy giving the kids a hearty "Ho-ho-ho," offering to answer their questions, and advising them not to fight with their sisters. Most of the students
seemed to like helping the kids.
"It's fun; they are excited about it," said Lauren Moeding, a junior. "I just really like the kids."
Her fourth and fifth grade group really liked making the crafts, Moeding said.
"They liked the crafts so far, and we're going to talk to Santa next. They seem pretty excited to talk to Santa."
Kersten said it's fun to watch the kids have fun.
"Because they enjoy the holiday season," she said. "We do crafts, and they get to ask Santa what they want, and it's just fun to see them enjoy the Christmas spirit."