The four foot blow-up of Darth Vader holding a candy cane that guarded the entrance of the Fox Elementary School Holiday Bazaar did not deter any of the children from focusing on their mission: to select a book, chose a present and fill their red bags with snacks of candy canes, goldfish crackers, Nutrigrain bars, Welch’s fruit snacks all courtesy of the KO Parent Association. Although they may look like KO moms, in actuality they have a side hustle doubling as elves spreading holiday cheer.
For the past eight years, the Parent Association has feted the 700 PreK through eighth-grade students at the Holiday Bazaar. Each class is allotted time to come during the day to select a book and a gift. Karen Diaz P ’19, ’22, who organized and purchased many of the items, led the event and was assisted by the Dawn Abramson P ’22, Sandy Brown P ’15, ’17, ’22, Gail Ignatowicz P ’21, Kim Impelluso P ’23, Lulu Khoosanguanchai P ’20, ’22, Amanda Leyden P ’20, ’24, Susan Seaver P ’21, ’23, and Melissa Vaughn P ’20, ’21, ’23. In the afternoon, some student volunteers from the Middle School joined in the fun.
One little girl, pigtails flying as she jumped in place, exclaimed, “I don’t know what to get! It’s a big decision!” And indeed it was. Bingo! Battleship! Go Fish! Hot Wheels! Fancy hair ties! Spiral Art! Puzzles! There was a gift to suit everyone. A group of three boys, heads bowed together yelled into the Magic Eight Ball, “Will I have a million dollars when I’m older?” As the murky answer became clearer and he tried to sound the phrase out - ‘Very doubtful,’ he asked what that meant. “It means maybe,” responded the helper. And after all, who wants to break the heart of a seven-year-old? For older students, there was a great selection of vibrant nail polishes, basketballs, headphones, and fleece blankets.
The book nook offered a range of fiction and non-fiction titles for early readers and more advanced ones. Younger students circled the Arthur books, Princess and the Pea and The Velveteen Rabbit. One child selected a Star Wars book as her father’s gift, and another boy proudly displayed in his hands a book entitled, Totally Gross.
There was wall to wall smiles from the students as they entered the library and received their instructions from Diaz. She asked them to repeat her directions, and word for word they parroted the answer of how they were to chose their items and walk through the various stations. Students hugged the volunteers, gave high fives and shouted a hearty ‘Thank You!’ to the volunteers as they departed the cheerful space outfitted with ornaments, tinsel, and a light-up Husky with a striped muffler and other festive adornments. The students also gave the volunteers thank you cards signed with their names.