Students help deliver cheer for Christmas
WATKINS GLEN--Seneca Santa, an institution in Schuyler County since the 1940s, takes an entire village of "elves" to pull off the annual Christmas tradition. For the last 30-plus years, Peggy Scott has served as the organizer. Hesselson's has provided toys at cost for longer than that. Two dozen volunteers are ready to help organize, wrap, and prepare the presents. Finally, members of local fire departments are standing by to distribute the presents to participating families.
This year, members of three sports teams at Watkins Glen Central School also joined the effort. On December 1, student-athletes helped unload dozens of boxes filled with toys. JV and Varsity basketball players, wrestlers, and the track team formed an assembly line, passing the boxes from the delivery truck to the door of the Presbyterian Church (Decatur Street, Watkins Glen) and up the stairs to the distribution center.
According to Scott, the program expects to serve 108 families, including more than 200 children, in 2022. Children typically range in age from 2 years to 12, although exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis. The program supports children in Schuyler County, who attend one of five school districts: Watkins Glen Central School, Odessa-Montour Central School, Trumansburg Central School, Bradford Central School, and Dundee Central School.
With the presents in-house, volunteers will now prepare the items for delivery, which is orchestrated by the team at Schuyler County's Emergency Management Services. Packages will be delivered on Christmas Eve, saving Santa a few stops!