Mrs. Claus missed at Noxen gift event

First Posted: 12/8/2014

NOXEN TWP. — Noxen’s Historical Community Association’s Annual Mrs. Claus Gift Shop on Dec. 6 brought happy shoppers of all ages together while raising money for a good cause.

Items perfect for the completion of holiday decorating were available to the delight of older shoppers, but younger shoppers scouting out the perfect toy truck or cuddly doll were not disappointed.

Kathie Pauley, association president, credits the willingness of Noxen residents to join in community efforts in making the event a success.

Heather Whitney, 15, was an enthusiastic volunteer under Pauley’s direction and said it helped put her in the holiday spirit.

Not only did Whitney assist shoppers during the day of the event, she also helped move items to be sold to the community area and organized their display.

Girl Scout Troop 30174 also participated in the effort, beautifully decorating the holiday tree which graced the front of the room.

This year’s event was a success in spite of the absence of its main attraction: Mrs. Claus.

Mary Hopfer, who had played the part of the kind and loving wife of Mrs. Claus for as long as many attendees could remember, passed away recently and her rocking chair remained empty.

Hopfer, who also served as the association’s librarian, was greatly missed and many said they could not imagine her ever truly being replaced.

“She was always dressed perfectly for her role as Mrs. Claus,” said one attendee. “The children loved her.”

Historical Society member Sandra Simons was especially excited to bring the spirit of history to her granddaughter, Samantha Sutton, 12, as they made their way through a box of colorful donated ornaments.

“Its important to identify those that may be antique,” said Simons as her granddaughter selected a box full of beautiful ornaments ready to be placed on the branches of her tree.

Mary Serniak and Marcy Belles were selling hand crafted snowmen and other seasonal decorations crafted from gourds grown in their garden. The snowmen clad in colorful gloves and scarves and sporting smiles seemed to wish shoppers a Merry Christmas.

Also available were small colorful hand-crafted Christmas stockings, perfect for a gift card or lottery ticket.

Funds raised from the event will go toward continuing improvement to the association’s home on School Street. Located in a building which was previously an elementary school, the site has obtained status as an historical site.

Since restoration of the building by the Historical Society began in 2001, its furnaces have been replaced, energy efficient windows have been installed, its electrical systems have been rewired, plumbing has been redone, insulation has been installed and the roof has been replaced.

The site is now available for a variety of community functions, including dances. It also houses the association’s library.

Patricia Crispell and mother, Louise Shiskowski, said residents of Noxen value the Historical Association for the opportunity it provides for fellowship and service. The association also cooperates with organizations to provide activities for their residents.

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