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Family fun night features Santa Claus, crafts

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POLSON — Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were in the art room at Cherry Valley School, and a line of children snaked out into the hall waiting to whisper Christmas wishes to the jolly old elf .

During her turn, Ashley Maki asked for a Rudolph stuffed animal with a nose that lights up. Torrin Ellis, 6, requested Griz wear; his brother Ruger, 4, wanted a race car and sister Berkley, 8, asked for the movie “Super 8” and for her aunt to come for Christmas. Kindergartner Colegene Whitworth stood in line and planned to ask for an Xbox 360.

The kids were at Cherry Valley for the holiday family fun night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 16.

In the gym, students, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles filled all the tables and bench and visited with other families as they constructed deer and snowmen, decorating them with bits of ribbon, sequins, markers and cotton balls.

Families could purchase raffle tickets for baskets filled with such things as arts and crafts supplies, books, movies and popcorn. The money raised went to Makai Albrecht and his family. Makai is a first grader diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy. It is a progressive degenerative myelin disorder, meaning that myelin, the "insulation" around nerves, breaks down over time.

Teacher Joyce Crosby organized the holiday family fun night and said around 200 families came for the event and raised about $1,100 for the Albrecht family. Crosby said both Linderman and Cherry Valley are having their own fun night this year so the events are smaller and more family-friendly.

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