Back in October, members of the Healdton High School FCCLA were already looking forward to Winter Wonderland, an annual Christmas party for Healdton Elementary School students held at the Healdton Armory. While many of the high school students who work the event are not in class, that is not the biggest reason for helping.


“It means quite a bit to these kids, you’d be surprised,” said senior Cayden Perkins. “A lot of these kids have a blast when they get to come in here with the older kids,” he said. Perkins has been a part of Winter Wonderland every year and enjoys being able to interact with the younger kids. “It’s fun to see their smiles.”


Students on Wednesday morning had plenty of reasons to smile. Before Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived on a Healdton fire truck, students enjoyed face painting, musical chairs, ornament decorating, and even pictures with The Grinch. Each student was also given a wrapped toy. Music and laughter echoed throughout the armory as about a dozen groups of children were ushered between stations by Healdton FCCLA students.


Sophomore Brynli Tucker has worked the event for two years and thinks it only gets better each year. Her favorite part of this year was working near Santa Claus. “I like seeing all the kids’ faces when we give them presents,” she said.


Healdton High School principal Justin Kana said the event started in the hallways of the elementary school seven years ago. “It’s a pretty big deal,” he said, adding that the donations from community members is what makes the event work each year. “We try to make it bigger and better every year,” he said.