Area residents looking to get some Christmas shopping done this weekend had a chance to do so by visiting their school districts.
On Saturday, students at Sherman Central School and Randolph Central School hosted separate fundraisers for their respective districts while providing their residents with an outlet for their shopping needs.
At Sherman, members of the district's Students Against Destructive Decisions club hosted its first annual baby-sitting event for parents looking for a few hours to themselves, or for a chance to get some gift shopping done. The proceeds will go toward providing a drug- and alcohol-free after-prom party later this school year.
Members of the Sherman chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions club pose with children who were dropped off by their parents for the school’s first annual holiday-themed baby-sitting event.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
According to Kristy Collver, SADD club adviser, the event had a smaller turnout than they had hoped for, but that didn't diminish from the fun had by all throughout the day.
"We have a great group of kids, all of them are under the age of 8," Collver said. "And the teenagers have been great. They really put their hearts and souls into planning this event. Sherman is such a safe community that we just pretty much had fun all day, and the teenagers had just as much fun, if not more, than the little kids did. But we're planning to do this again for at least a couple more years, and hopefully get more participation."
Collver said several activities were employed by the students in order to keep the children entertained, such as coloring, story reading, Christmas singalongs and movies and a hot chocolate party.
At Randolph, students of the Randolph Art Guild and French Club hosted the district's second annual holiday craft shop at the junior-senior high school gymnasiums. According to Kaylee Hettenbaugh, a junior and vice president of the Art Guild, this year's event expanded upon last year's event to include more than 40 vendors.
"It's doubled in size from last year, so it's been a very profitable thing," Kaylee said. "At least 300 people came last year. And we were in the small gym, so now we've expanded into the bigger gym. With all the different activities going on, we have different student committees helping with setup and planning to make sure everything runs smoothly."
Crystal Walters, Art Guild adviser and high school art teacher, said increasing the number of vendors helped to bring in even more visitors this time.
"We're very pleased with the turnout this year," Walter said. "We've had about the same amount of people as last year, if not a little bit more. It seems to be a pretty steady flow of people all day, too. Many of the vendors are selling quite a bit of stuff, and they seem to be real pleased."
The fact that the event was held on the same day as Randolph's "Home Holidays" Christmas parade was a big bonus as far as Brett Walters, a vendor with Cinnamon Fern Studios, was concerned.
"It definitely worked out good doing this the same day as the town winter events, because it got pretty crowded in here when the parade ended," he said. "I've probably done about the same as last year in terms of sales. And also, because this is our second year doing this, we saw some people come back looking for certain vendors. So, I think next year will probably be even better because people will have a better idea of what's here."