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After-school Santa stop

Realtors connect Kriss Kringle to Newhall Elementary School students

Posted: December 24, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 24, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Syed Ali, 13, left, comes forward to collect his bag of Christmas gifts from Santa during the after school enrichment program's Christmas party hosted by The Santa Clarita Valley Association of Realtors at Newhall Elementary School in Newhall on Friday.

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Santa, decked out in his trademark bright red suit and sporting his full snow white bushy beard, arrived courtesy Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 73, to the loud cheers of nearly 100 students at Newhall Elementary School.

“Santa, Santa, Santa,” shouted the students as the “jolly old elf” clambered down from the top of the fire engine.

The students, participants in Newhall Elementary’s after school Education and Safety Program, were treated to the visit with Santa by the Southland Association of Realtors.

“We just flew in here,” Santa said. “But the reindeer did a great job. We’re going to have a great visit with the kids today. I have my knees ready.”

The students who participate in the after school academic, safety and enrichment program, each were able to visit with Santa and received two gifts, a game and a toy, said Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, Santa Clarita Valley Division.

In addition, the students received a small red holiday-decorated plastic bucket filled with candy.

“We do this event every year,” said Kauzlarich-Bird, owner of Triple D Realty. “This is my favorite event. I shop for all the kids and plan the party. These are kids truly in need and our association likes to give back to the community.”

Kauzlarich-Bird said she begins her planning for the event each year “right after Thanksgiving.”

Students sat at long tables and colored holiday greeting cards with new colored pencils they received as part of their gift packages.

The children waited patiently to be called up individually to sit with Santa and receive their gifts — which also included a candy-filled ornament from a brightly decorated tree.

Each family also received a $25 Ralphs gift card.

Kauzlarich-Bird said 300 to 400 Realtors in the SCV donate to the program each year.

“Paris MacIvor and Laura Coffey of ReMax Santa Clarita throw a huge party and without those two most of this wouldn’t happen,” she said. “They usually raise more than $3,000. They are huge part of the success of this charity event.”

Realtor Nicole Stinson, of Estate Realty Group, said it was her first year attending the event.

“I really want to help the real estate community give back,” she said. “The children are so appreciative. Erika has done so much work to put this event together, she’s a great person.”

mbuttelman@scvsignal.com

661-287-5590

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