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Have a merry Christmas, thanks to the Springville Kiwanis Club

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Kiwanis Club is seeking to bring a merry Christmas to the children of the Springville community and ensure that every local child wakes up to presents under the tree, on Christmas morning.

Kiwanis toy collection bins are currently located at Springville’s Community Bank, the West Valley Demonstration Project and Lamb & Webster. New toys for children ranging in age from infancy through early teens will be accepted for the Springville Kiwanis Toy Drive, through Dec. 7. Monetary donations are accepted at Tractor Supply, located on South Cascade Drive in Springville.

The donations will be gifted to children in the Springville-Griffith Institute District. Invitations to participate in this drive were sent out to 42 local families.

The toys will then be distributed to parents on Dec. 8, in a store-type atmosphere. “Parents will be able to choose what would best meet the needs and the personalities of their children,” said Kiwanis Vice President Dave Guadagna. The parents may choose at least two, large items for each child, plus a few smaller gifts. In addition, Guadagna said that the club also offers books and backpacks for the kids.

In former years, the Kiwanis Club purchased some supplemental toys from a larger toy drive, but Guadagna said that the Springville club no longer participates in that effort, so organizers recently looked for ways to add to the local donations.

A screening of the 2004 animated holiday movie “The Polar Express,” starring Tom Hanks and featuring the music of Josh Groban, was held at the Joylan Theatre in Springville on Nov. 24. The proceeds from that event will go toward buying toys for the age groups for which Guadagna said the drive typically receives fewer donations. “People typically buy for young kids, and that’s great, but we’re always looking for things for especially teenage girls and we needed to find a way to fill in that gap,” he said.

Guadagna said that Joylan Theatre owner Debby Adams had worked with him, since last summer, to plan this movie-screening event, and contributed her and her husband’s theater, for the fundraiser.

“This gave us the opportunity to meet the needs of kids in the community,” Guadagna said. Jim Merenick of State Farm Insurance in Springville sponsored the movie and, according to Guadagna, “has been great. Every time we ask him, he’s always willing to help.”

Local movie distributor Mary Beth Lawton assisted with obtaining the rights to screen the movie and donated memorabilia from “Polar Express,” including posters, T-shirts and more, for a basket raffle, held during the event.

Guadagna acknowledged the Roudebush family of Springville for organizing the basket auction. In addition, Julie’s Pizzeria and Main Street Pizza each donated $50 in gift cards for the raffle. Both restaurants also offered a discount to patrons who brought in their “Polar Express” movie ticket stubs.

Adams and Guadagna recently discovered that their chosen fundraiser weekend would correspond with A Very Merry Main Street, held in Springville on Nov. 23 and 24.

Santa Claus, who was making the rounds in the village during that post-Thanksgiving shopping event, visited the Joylan Theatre during its movie screening, and distributed the 21 baskets from the raffle.

Guadagna reported that a total of $646 was raised, during the Springville movie fundraiser. “After we see what’s been donated, we’ll go shopping,” he said.

Any toys left over from this drive will be donated to the Springville Trading Post or the Holland Kiwanis Club, which is hosting its first toy drive, this holiday season.

New toys and monetary donations will be accepted at the donation sites located in the Springville area, through Dec. 7. For more information about the Kiwanis Club, visit sprngvll.tripod.com.
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