School shopping

First Posted: 12/6/2014

DALLAS — Dallas Elementary School came alive on the evening of Dec. 5 with the sights and sounds of its annual holiday shopping event providing opportunity for students, families and friends to purchase the “perfect” holiday present or sample a Christmas cookie while sharing a bit of fellowship with others.

A traditional favorite of the event was the appearance of Santa Claus, who made careful note of what children wanted for Christmas, handed out candy canes with his helper, then reading “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Children also had an opportunity to take a photo with him.

“The event is all about the children,” said PTO vice president Erica Elgonitis. “Children are able to shop for their siblings, parents, grandparents and even themselves at very reasonable prices.”

Adding to the holiday spirit of the event, the fifth-grade band was on hand to play selected favorites, including “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” Percussion, woodwind and brass had attendees tapping their feet and singing along.

Morgan Solano, who played the saxophone, said members had practiced hard to provide the perfect musical backdrop for the event.

Those who came hungry were not disappointed. Bake sale items included a variety of cookies, brownies and even caricature cupcakes.

Fourth-grader Megan Ostrowski had fun not only participating in the event, but also helping by manning the PTO table. She said the event provided a great opportunity to spend time celebrating the season with friends.

Parent Monique Pritchard said her daughter Taylor was delighted with the chance to buy presents for her family members.

“Items available were beautiful and unique,” said Taylor, especially pleased with several knick-knacks purchased for grandparents.

Alyssa Pritchard, a fifth-grade student, enjoyed playing her flute as part of the band, and getting to spend time with friends as they made their way through the event, looking at vendors’ offerings, many of which were handmade.

Abbie Youngblood, iof Will Love Stella Sweets, was on hand providing attendees with a chance to purchase handmade items appropriate for a Secret Santa exchange or a special teacher.

A favorite at Youngblood’s table was “Cookies in a Bottle,” which provided items necessary to make homemade cookies except the eggs and water. Recipients are gifted with a chance to quickly make holiday cookies and pop them in the oven.

Youngblood also had information available on birthday party cakes with themed cookies as favors.

Jen Greenfield,of P&E Inspirations, featured a variety of designs she designed and crafted herself.

“I think this event is a wonderful way to support local artists and small businesses,” she said.

Martz for Relay presented cookbooks, chocolate lollipops and dog biscuits for sale at the event. The group supports the American Cancer Society throughout the year.

First-grade teacher Heather Pitcavage manned the “Spiritwear” stand and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to support students in a holiday environment.

Items were available from both vendors and at PTO-run tables. Items presented by the PTO did not exceed $7.

For those feeling lucky, a basket raffled was also held, with items provided by vendors and local businesses and proceeds going the PTO.

“It was a great night,” said Elgonitis. “Children and their families had a wonderful time.”

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