What began 13 years ago, has become a tradition for local students who both receive and give to make Christmas a joyful time for Lehi families. The brainchild of Lehi teacher Becky White and the Jazz Bear in collaboration with the Lehi Fire Department, the Jazz Bear shopping experience begins with the Mascot Bowl. The proceeds from this popular fall event is used to provide $100.00 for each child to go shopping for Christmas gifts each holiday season.
This year one hundred and fifty local elementary students, accompanied by two or more high school students, were transported to Wal-Mart by busses provided by Alpine School District. The festivities began at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, December 17th at Skyridge High School. The students were treated to red T-shirts, quesadillas and orange juice donated by Costa Vida. A program was presented by the Skyridge High School Dance Company, after which the elementary students were paired with the high school students for their adventure to Wal-Mart.
The Saratoga Springs Wal-Mart provided cookies for all the students along with an area where Christmas gifts that were purchased could be wrapped. The Wal-Mart staff and management were exceptionally helpful and cooperative in making this a memorable occasion for all involved.
There are many individuals who work hard to make this experience possible. The sports marketing class, Alpine School District bus drivers, administrators of the local elementary schools, Skyridge High School administration, Nancy Turner, Carrie Dawson, Tim Eisenhart, and countless others who contribute hundreds of hours of donated time to brighten this holiday season for so many.
One elementary student purchased a Melo Mint Pattie and gave it to one of the workers, saying, “I am happy I can give something to someone this Christmas.” Another child said, “I can finally donate a toy to Toys for Tots.” Many heartfelt sentiments were expressed during the morning. Madi Iverson, a Lehi High School junior, said, “Jazz Bear shopping is an incredible way to give back to the community, it gives both us and the kids holiday spirit.” Tyler Willes, a senior at LHS, added, “I love Jazz Bear Shopping, it’s a great way to give back and get to know some special kids.”
Becky White, said, “I am always amazed at how willing the high school students are to help out. I love that Lehi and Skyridge can come together and help families for Christmas.”