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Boys and Girls Club gives gifts to area children

Dec. 18, 2013 @ 06:46 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Christmas came early for children involved in the John W. Hereford Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington.

The organization hosted a Christmas party Tuesday evening for nearly 200 youth at its Guyandotte location, where the kids were treated to dinner, dessert and brand new toys.

"Every year we host a Christmas party and invite all the clubs in Huntington," said Mike Patick, executive director. "The board members and volunteers serve the food. At the end of the meal, (the kids) all pick a gift and it's based on attendance -- if you come here the most days, you get the first pick of what you want."

More than 300 toys and gifts were donated by Toys for Tots, Kohl's, HIMG, Elder-Beerman, the Greenbrier Dream Tree for Kids, the Marshall University football team, and Marshall football coach Doc Holliday and his wife.

Montara, 7, said she was excited to get a new toy and was hoping to get a baby doll for Christmas. Tatyanna, 10, said she wanted something like a bicycle.

Patick said the Christmas party, which has been hosted for several years, is important because many of the children they serve may not get any presents at home.

"They may live with a great-aunt or an older sister who can't give them a Christmas," he said. "But we're in a position to give them a Christmas and this is the best we can do as far as giving each kid a Christmas. At the very least, they'll get one gift."

The Boys and Girls Club served about 1,000 children last year, Patick said. Its two clubs located in Guyandotte and on 14th Street are open yearround except Saturdays. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering can call Patick at 304-523-5120.

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