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Hunter Hills Elementary School Students Treated to Free Christmas Event by SCC Cosmetology Program Students

When Dr. Seuss wrote, what if Christmas doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more, he was conveying that often giving is more important than receiving, especially around the holidays.

Yesterday, students in the Somerset Community College Cosmetology program on the SCC Laurel Campus in London had the opportunity to make a difference in their community by providing gifts, love, attention and time to local kids in need. Each year, students in the program raise money to provide an amazing Christmas experience for kids Laurel County. This year, 17 students from Hunter Hills Elementary School, as well as a Laurel North Middle School student and three Laurel South Middle School students, were sponsored through the program. In addition to SCC students, cosmetology students from Creations School of Cosmetology, LLC in Corbin also participated in fundraising.

Kay Swanner, coordinator of the SCC Laurel Cosmetology program, said that students hosted various events to raise funds for the Kids Christmas event, including a chili dog sale, earring sales, T-shirt sales, a silent auction, candy sales, a princess tea party and more. In total, over $5,000 was raised to purchase toys, personal hygiene items, basic clothing needs and more for each child. In addition, each participant also received an Android tablet at the event.

Whitney Howard, Hunter Hills Elementary School Family Resource Center (FRC) Coordinator, said that she and her team worked with the Cosmetology students to provide names of students who needed a little extra help this holiday season.

A lot of these kids don't get much for Christmas, Howard said. I know they, and their families, really appreciate this.

Howard said the FRC worked with each child to prepare a Christmas wish list and asked them to identify things they really wanted. SCC Cosmetology students then went together to adopt a child from the list and shop for their wish list items.

Brian Bond, Hunter Hills Elementary School principal, said he was impressed with the event.

This is so much more than I expected, Bond said. These are truly kids that need and deserve assistance. Its wonderful to see the school (SCC) step up to provide this type of community service.

Bond said this was the first time Hunter Hills Elementary School had participated in the event, which is held annually and is rotated between area schools. Hunter Hills Elementary School is located in the Southern part of Laurel County and serves over 700 children.

This experience is just as important for our students as it is the children who receive gifts, said Swanner. The Cosmetology students pour their hearts into this event. It gives them the ability to make a difference in their own community, as well as help to develop a tradition of giving back.

In addition to the SCC students that worked to raise funds for the event, other SCC staff and faculty donated coats for each child. Local businesses that donated items or food for the event include Shoe Inn, Bojangles, Heavenly Pizza, Hogg Heaven Catering, Herman's Classic Cars, Salon Envy, Day Brothers RV, Holly Bay Marina, Comic and Games and Modern Chic.

To see more photos from this event, visit the SCC Flickr account at https://flic.kr/s/aHskPRyH7K.

To find out more about the Cosmetology program at SCC contact Kay Swanner at (606) 878-4807 or kay.swanner@kctcs.edu.