NORTH ROYALTON – It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
During the holiday season, residents give generously to the North Royalton Branch of the Salvation Army’s red kettle drive, typically gifting close to $8,000, which enables the charity to do quite a bit of good year-round.
That Christmas spirit of giving returns for one day at the annual Christmas in July event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Drug Mart, 5500 Wallings Road, when residents can once again give to help replenish those funds that help so many right here in the community. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be stopping in on their way to their summer vacation to ring the bell for the red kettle.
The event typically raises close to $1,000 that is put toward providing school-age youngsters with clothing vouchers to the Salvation Army store in Strongsville for back-to-school apparel; purchasing gift cards for new shoes for students; helping those at risk of utility disconnections and providing short-term housing for the homeless.
There will be hot dogs, chips and soda, donated by Drug Mart, available for a donation of any amount and a variety of muffins and D. Kay’s Waffles for purchase.
New this year will be free pony rides for the kids from noon to 1 p.m.
As always, members of the Royalton Hills Lions Club will be working the event.
Donna Urban, a Royalton Hills member, said the best part about the this is that everything that is donated stays right here in North Royalton.
“People aren’t aware of that. They think it goes other places, but it doesn’t. It stays right here to help our neighbors right here in North Royalton,” she said. “And, it’s a fun event.”
Debra Burrows, senior center manager and outreach specialist for the North Royalton Office on Aging, looks forward to the event every year too.
“I’m excited about Christmas in July. It’s always fun, there’s the camaraderie of working with the Royalton Hills Lions Club and having Mr. and Mrs. Claus there,” she said. “And, it’s for a good cause helping out those that are in need in our community.”
So just what is a D. Kay’s waffle? Only a little slice of heaven, according to Burrows.
“It is the best French waffle you have had in your life. It’s shaped like a honeycomb and has powered sugar on top,” she said.
Mr. Claus is always played by Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, and Mrs. Claus this year is Pam Hilborn, a Royalton Hills Lion.
Anyone who donates is sure to make the nice list.
“Santa is looking forward to visiting North Royalton on his way to summer vacation with Mrs. Claus,” Jolly ol’ St. Nick said. “There are so many great girls and boys that I look forward to seeing, while at the same time helping all those in need in the community. It just shows the Christmas spirit lives on throughout the year even on a hot day in July.”