Christmas is all about the spreading of cheer and the Roho Fishing Club helped do just that on Tuesday.
The club held the Roho Christmas Shopping Spree helping add some Christmas joy for 250 children ages pre-school through fifth grade from the Tri-State area.
In order to raise funds for this event, the club sponsors a fishing tournament the first weekend in May each year. The proceeds from the tournament are used in December for the children’s shopping spree.
This year, each child was given $150 to spend — $40 for toys and $110 for clothing. The children were chosen from 22 schools by their teachers and principals in the Tri-State area. The children are then paired with an adult volunteer to help them on the special Christmas shopping trip.
The Middlesboro elementary-age shoppers were transported to the store by church vans from the First Baptist Church of Middlesboro.
Employees from several local businesses and organizations assisted the children upon arrival at Walmart. Those organizations and businesses included First State Financial, Home Federal Bank, Mountain View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Bell-Whitley Community Action Agency, East End Pawn Shop, Community Trust, Kiwanis of Middlesboro, Pappy’s, LMU Athletic Department and Middlesboro ARH.
A group of approximately 50 Middlesboro High School Key Club members also participated in the shopping event.
“The children chosen to participate in the shopping spree often think of giving before receiving. Some of them buy Christmas presents for siblings or parents rather than for themselves,” said Kim Rains, president of Roho. “These kids are not selfish at all.”
Walmart and its associates began preparation for the event in September. The store provides a special treat for lunch and brings Santa Claus to the store to visit with the children.
Roho was first organized about 40 years ago by a group of former Jaycees who wanted to continue serving their community. There are approximately 90 Roho members from the Tri-State area. The first shopping spree involved five children in 1970.
For more information pertaining to the club and their projects, visit their website at www.rohofishing.org. Individuals may sponsor a child for the shopping spree for $150 or any size donation they wish.
All donations go to the children. The more donations the club receives allows more children to be taken on the shopping trip.