By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
Destiny Gomer, 14, opened her gift bag and squealed with delight as she pulled out a toothbrush. “It’s pink! I love pink!” she said.
Gomer and her friends were among the 65 children and dozens of adults hosted at an open house Tuesday at the Boys and Girls Club of Corsicana.
The children got a chance to hang with their friends and speak with Santa, while the adults snacked on finger foods and discussed the boring things that grown-ups talk about this time of year.
The kids knew what was important, though, and it was Santa. They waited in impatient lines for their turn with the Big Guy, telling him secret fantasies of bicycles and MP3 players and video games before rushing back to a kids-only supper of chicken nuggets and carrot sticks.
Aldo Miller happily unpacked his gift bag, while talking about why he likes coming to the Boys and Girls Club each afternoon.
“To see all my friends and cousins,” he said. “We go outside and have fun.”
Jasmine Bartee, 16, ate with the children, although she’s now a volunteer at the center.
“I like the kids,” she said. “We help them with homework, or watch them outside.”
Although fundraising is difficult, it’s been a fruitful year at the club, according to Andre Kennard, executive director.
“It was tight, it’s always tight, but we’re still able to serve the kids,” he said.
Pedro Cohen, board president and volunteer, echoed that sentiment.
“All the non-profits struggle in Corsicana, but the idea is to help children build character, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.
Brad Haynie, who is a donor to the center, recalled that the center is built on the site of the former Jackson High School, where so many of his friends attended school.
“There’s good people here,” he said.
Although the area is still economically depressed, the center does a lot for the kids, including instilling hope, he said.
For Gomer, it’s about the fun the center offers.
“I like playing basketball here, and getting on the computer,” she said.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “Soundoff” to this article? Email: email@example.com