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Shopping for a cause
Kiwanis shopping spree 5
Katie Staack of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock helps a local youth find a pair of shoes during the club's annual shopping spree and dinner on Tuesday at Kohls. - photo by NATALIE WINTERS/The Journal

The start of December marks the time of giving and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock is doing just that by hosting their annual Kohl’s shopping spree for underprivileged youth in the area.

Ten kids from four different local elementary schools—Brown, Crowell, Wakefield and Chatom—were chosen to participate in the shopping spree, complete with a dinner at Chili’s.

Mary Ann Urrutia, coordinator of the event since 2004, explains that the joy that is had is not only for the children involved.

“I love the smiles throughout this event,” said Urrutia. “Not just from the kids but from our members as well. We are so happy to do this, to be able to give back, and the families of our members love to help out, as well.”

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock has been holding this event for over 20 years, and Michael Staack, club president, remembers how it all started.

“This used to be at Mervyn’s before they closed down,” he said. “We’d have pizza in the break room for the kids after.”

An upgrade to Kohl’s and Chili’s has continued to make the annual event special.

“Kohl’s is so great to work with,” said Urrutia. “They would bend over backwards for this; I’m just ecstatic.”

The club raises money throughout the year for events such as this and continues to find ways to support the community.

“We love to give back,” said Staack. “We support the community and the community supports us. We’re happy to do it, that’s what Christmas is all about.”