Elks share Christmas cheer with area kids

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Santa Claus and Cullman Elks Exalted Ruler Dale Ball pose for a photo Sunday at the Elks Lodge’s annual Christmas party. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN – Santa Claus visited the Cullman Elks Lodge Sunday afternoon to the delight of children attending the lodge’s annual Christmas party. Kids from Cullman City, Garden City, Harmony and Vinemont Head Start and Pre-K classes were treated to a pizza party and presents from Santa.

The Cullman Elks received a $2,500 grant from its Grand Lodge to help continue the yearly tradition.

Cullman Elks Exalted Ruler Dale Ball shared, “We had 162 kids this year and with the grant we were able to get each child a nice gift, a bag of fruit and a gallon container of snack mix to share with their families.”

The children enjoyed pizza, cookies and juice provided by the Elks while anticipating the arrival of Santa. 

Santa Claus planned on arriving by helicopter on the lawn, but the foggy weather resulted in a change of plans. The kids enthusiastically chanted “Santa! Santa! Santa!” as news spread that he had arrived safely by car. As he entered the lodge, the children squealed and cheered. 

Each child got to meet Santa and his helpers; the kids waited patiently until each had received his or her gift. As Santa gave them the nod, the kids ripped into the wrapping paper. The toy trucks and Disney Princess dolls brought smiles and celebrations. 

Ball said, “We have about 50-60 Elks volunteering here today. I’m guessing we have been doing this for at least the past 20 years.”

Cullman Elks Leading Knight Lynn Jones added, “We do what we can to help our community. We have many projects we work on throughout the year. As soon as we finish one, we are working on the next.” 

The Elks Lodge is also busy working on its upcoming nursing home Christmas project. The Elks will be adopting 30 residents from two local nursing homes for the holidays. 

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