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Christmas Comes Early for Bush Elementary School Children Thanks to SCC's Laurel Cosmetology Program

Brayden Schrader

Brayden Schrader, age 11.

Santa playing jumbo jenga

Santa playing jumbo Jenga with students
siblings brayden schrader and caitlin schrader

Siblings, Brayden Schrader, age 11 and Caitlin Schrader, age 8.
group photo of cosmetology students and bush elementary school students

Group photo.
cosmetology student helping a child ride a bike

Cosmetology student helping a child ride their new bike.
happy and grateful children riding their new bikes

Happy and grateful children riding their new bikes.

Christmas came early for 17 children from Bush Elementary School in London thanks to students in the Somerset Community College (SCC) Laurel Campus Cosmetology program.

Tuesday, SCC Cosmetology students held their annual Operation Kids Christmas event. This year, SCC students joined with the Laurel Skills USA Club to raise more than $3,000 used to provide Christmas gifts for children in need. Funds were raised through candy bar sales, bake sales, selling glamour bags, a silent auction, spa days and private donations.

Kay Swanner, faculty member in the SCC Laurel Cosmetology program, said the event is the highlight of the year for students, faculty and staff of the program.

“This event is so meaningful,” Swanner said. “And not just for the children, but also for our students. This initiative lets students learn and experience how to give back to the community. It’s a tradition we are proud to uphold.”

At the event, children, who were identified by the school’s family resource center, received clothes, shoes, coats, toys, bicycles, fruit baskets and a ham for their family.

Stacey Young, the school’s family resource center coordinator, said that the toys and gifts aren’t the only positive thing to come from Operation Kids Christmas.

“The children really benefit from the one-on-one attention from the Cosmetology students,” said Young. “They also really enjoy hearing the Christmas story too.”

In addition to gifts and entertainment, the children from Bush Elementary were treated to breakfast provided by Bojangles’, a visit with Santa and lunch provided by Heavenly Pizza. Other event donors for the 2017 event include: Modern Chic, Sheriff John Root, Ashley Cromer, Shoe Inn, London Liquidators, West and Co., Chaney Lumber Company, Merrimac Baptist Church, Jennifer Nicholson Attorney at Law, Crooked Creek Country Club, Yadens Auto Sales, Kelly Ann’s and Herman and Carolyn Bowling.

Special guest Phoebe White, an 8-year old singer from London, performed Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” for guests.

To see more photos from this event, visit the SCC Flickr account at

To find out more about the SCC Laurel Campus Cosmetology program, contact Brandy Brock at (606) 878-4807 or