Last updated: December 18. 2013 7:07AM
Lisa Rushing Staff Writer



Lisa Rushing | Richmond County Daily JournalStudent Bryson Parker listens to Santa Tuesday at East Rockingham Elementary School.
Lisa Rushing | Richmond County Daily JournalStudent Bryson Parker listens to Santa Tuesday at East Rockingham Elementary School.
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EAST ROCKINGHAM — Although getting a coat for Christmas may never have been at the top of a child’s wish list, having one sure can help keep warm while waiting for the bus on those frosty winter mornings.


Thanks to the Rockingham Civitan Club, 80 students at East Rockingham Elementary School can stay warmer a little longer. The club continued its longstanding tradition on Tuesday of distributing new coats to students.


As one group of children approached the room, the students were excited yet maintained indoor voices. They wanted to know where Santa was. While Santa wasn’t guaranteeing any wishes, Mrs. Claus did guarantee a sweet treat for each child.


One girl with dark brown hair pulled back in a ponytail and sparkling brown eyes came out of the small room in tears after getting her coat. What’d she tell Santa? That she would accept anything he’s willing to bring to her.


Almost all of the kids expressed interest in wanting electronics. What set a few apart from the others was what they want to achieve in their lifetime and why. Nick Grooms, 10, wants to be a cop like his grandfather.


Kacee Hoffman, 10, wants to be a nurse when she grows up, not only because they help people but they make a lot of money, too.


Ana Cortez Suarez, 10, was very appreciative of her fruit bag since it included apples — her favorite fruit. Ana didn’t know what kind of bike she wanted, and didn’t even have a preference as to what kind of helmet she wanted to go with it. One thing she did know is that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up, and she hopes to find a cure for her grandmother’s illness.


School officials remained grateful for the Civitan Club’s continued support of their students.


“The Civitan has supported school for years and a blessing to our children at East Rockingham Elementary School. We are thankful for their support,” said Cynthia Wilson, school counselor.


It was counselor Sarah Radford’s first time at the event. She understood the students’ need.


The coat distribution, she said, is a “great opportunity for kids at school to get a present and to interact with Santa.”

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