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Goddard School plays Santa to needy families

Posing with all of the gifts collected for Oxford families in need are (from left) Goddard School owner Michelle Stuhlreyer and students Hunter Wittebort, Brenden Szczepanski, Aleera Rathbun and Miley Pandrak. Photo by CJC. (click for larger version)
December 28, 2011 - Santa Claus can't be everywhere all the time. That's why he has helpers like the folks at The Goddard School of Oxford.

Last week, the school, located at 55 Gateway Drive, donated a bunch of beautifully-wrapped gifts and two boxes of food to two Oxford families in need this holiday season.

"Our families were so generous," said Michelle Stuhlreyer, the school's owner. "They really got into it. In fact, they gave more than what was on the wish list."

Goddard worked with Volunteers of America to select two families in need.

"We specifically asked for local families," Stuhlreyer said. "It was our goal to help someone in the community."

One family had four children ranging in age from 2 months to 14 years. The other had three kids from 5Ĺ to 14.

The parents submitted wish lists, which were then filled by Goddard's generous families. Gifts ranged from roller skates and clothing to bed sheets and jewelry.

"We received much more than they asked for," Stuhlreyer said. "I was extremely happy with the participation. They went above and beyond. We're very proud of our Goddard families."

Goddard School is a privately-owned early childhood development center for children from six weeks to six years of age.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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