What's Good in the Hood

AIMING TO GENERATE CITY PRIDE DESPITE A TARNISHED REPUTATIONImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic

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Tonight, Kayra Lopez, Ylaiza Perez and I represented the Lawrence High School National Honor Society at Santa Night with the Kiwanis Club of Greater Lawrence. This is an annual national event where Kiwanis Club members around the country donate money in exchange for a Santa or elf suit that they wear while caroling in around their communities. This was our first time but we got the hang of it quickly. Our mode of transportation was a coach bus that also functioned as Santa’s sleigh for the night. We began at Salvatore’s in Lawrence and went to the Loop, Lazarus house, Mi Mexico Lindo, and many more places, hitting 20 stops in all. Ylaiza volunteered to lead in the carols, Kayra sang with exuberance, and I ushered my new buddies, sisters Ella and Addie in collecting donations. The six- and five-year old sisters from Andover gathered the most money, it seemed, in their adorable over-sized elf costumes.

I heard about the event just last week when I was honored with the Citizenship Award at a Kiwanis Club meeting in Andover. Jeffrey Shank of Kiwanis, and one of the organizers for Santa Night, encouraged us to attend the event, saying we’d have a blast. Sure enough, the event was unlike any other I had done, but I speak for Kayra, Ylaiza as well when I say we had way more fun than Jeffrey had promised. The joy on people’s face as 55 jubilant elves and Santas filed into a restaurant and sang is the epitome of the holiday season. All proceeds will benefit the children of Greater Lawrence, through the Kiwanis Club. 


Gladys Gitau. 

Filed under Santa Night Merrimack Valley Kiwanis Club Dec 2011

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