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The Groton Area Newcomers and Friends hosted their fourth annual Santa Photo Day at the Groton Public Library on Dec. 11. It was a successful event with more than 60 families visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The GANF raised more than $700 for the Bic Penn Memorial Scholarship. We are well on our way to achieving our goal of awarding a second scholarship this spring to a Groton-Dunstable senior for outstanding community service!

We wish to thank Owen Shuman and the library trustees for allowing us to hold our event at the library again this year. It is the perfect location, allowing families a special place to enjoy their visit with Santa. Karen Dunham and the Children’s Room staff were wonderful to work with offering encouragement, kindness and expertise. We thank all the librarians who worked that busy Saturday! We appreciate your patience. Many thanks to Deborah Dowson for her help in securing some new teen volunteers.

We were fortunate to have Dave Banks and Jean Cummings reprise their roles as Santa and Mrs. Claus. They are such naturals at their job! They exude warmth and kindness and make each child feel special. It was wonderful to see the excitement in the children’s eyes as they walked into the room and saw Santa and Mrs. Claus. We appreciate their love of this event and willingness to give of their time so generously. Our heartfelt appreciation to you both!!

I would like to thank my friends and fellow GANF members for their help. Many thanks to Debi Rieden, Kim Daly and Amy Kelly for their continued support and help with this event year after year. Thank you Kim for making a wonderful lunch for all of our volunteers. To the many teens who volunteered their time, I truly appreciate it. Kudos to Jessica and Heather Beebe, Hanna Axon, Julie King, Tom Grigglestone, Olivia Marion, Flannery McEvoy and Jocelyn Byron- Kelly. I appreciate the positive energy and willingness to do whatever was asked of you! We were also so fortunate to have Amanda Riposa and Erica Chrisis as part of our team of volunteers. They photographed all the children. The photos were great; they truly captured the excitement of the children as they visited with Santa. Thank you all for giving up your Saturday during the busy holiday season!! Many thanks to the Wortmans, the Riedens and the Whites for allowing us to use their printers and cameras for the event. We appreciate your generosity!!

We were so grateful to the families and staff at the Groton Community School for baking more than 130 bags of homemade cookies (that’s almost 400 cookies — WOW)!! The children were treated to delicious homemade cookies after their visit with Santa!! We loved the festive holiday tags! We appreciate the GCS continued support of this event and thank you for partnering with us in this Groton holiday tradition!! Many thank you’s to Ann Wortman and Sarah Webb who also baked cookies. It is amazing how many people in our Groton area donate their time and talents to this family event!! We could not do it without your help!

Thank you to all the families who attended this event. We were so pleased with the community’s response to the photos and visit with Santa. It was a great way to raise money for our scholarship fund. We look forward to continuing this event in 2012!!

CARRIE JISER

GANF Fundraising Chair