Stocking Stuffers prepare for annual Christmas event.

Editor’s note: The late Terry Spradley of the St. John News wrote the original story. Stocking Stuffers of Central Kansas member Hannah Sallee edited and updated the story.

Good food and Christmas presents are a combination that is hard to beat. The Stocking Stuffers of Central Kansas are hosting their annual soup supper and raffle drawing fundraiser to make sure every child has a toy on Christmas.

The soup supper is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 at the IOOF Lodge at 700 East 1st Avenue in St. John, said SSCK organizer Hannah Sallee.

The meal will include soups and desserts provided by the Wheatland Cafe. Santa Claus will be on hand to visit with the children and pass out treats. No purchase is necessary to visit Santa so parents can bring their children just to see Santa and not eat.

Sallee said this years drawing has some amazing prizes.

“We have a 50 inch TV, Kindle Fire HD, Fossil watches, Oakley sunglasses, hover board, drone, cash prizes and so many more,” Sallee said.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Rachel Fisher at 620-285-5951 or Sallee at 620-786-0370 or at any SJN Bank of Kansas Location. The drawing will be at the soup luncheon and people need not be present to win.

“We really hope everybody can make it to our soup luncheon to have a delicious dinner and support our community,” Sallee said.

With the proceeds from the supper, SSCK will help make sure that every child will have a present on Christmas. With the generous help of the local SSCK, they were able to add 76 names to their Christmas list in 2017. Organizers Sallee and Rachel Fisher hope their seventh year will be their best.

“We are really excited about this year,” Sallee said. “I feel like we have learned a lot from previous years and really have a good system in place. Rachel and I have really appreciated all of the support our community has given our organization. It is so nice to see our family, friends and neighbors step up to the plate to help others when they see a need.”

The SSCK continues to grow each year and were able to provide toys to 76 boys and girls in 2017.

“We want to ensure that all of our local kids have a memorable Christmas,” Sallee said.

Forms will be sent out with pre K-6 grades in St. John and will also be available at the Stafford County Health Department. Organizers will try to personalize the gifts so they are hoping to get gift ideas from the forms, Sallee said.

“We encourage each child to fill in their interests on the forms so we can get what they are really wanting,” she said. “If a boy is interested in Star Wars, we don’t want to get him a basketball. A lot of time and effort is put in to making sure that all of the gifts are personalized. We make several shopping trips before everything is said and done because we want to make sure everything is perfect.”

To that end, SSCK does all it’s own shopping for toys. But they do accept monetary donations that can be sent to Stocking Stuffers of Central Kansas, P. O. Box 14, St. John, Kansas, 67576. Donations are tax deductible and SSCK is a 501c3 organization.

In addition to the SSCK Christmas mission, they help with other necessities throughout the year including utility bills, clothing and back to school supplies.