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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Mini Main gives children chance to shop for gifts

  • Children bundled up in their hats and gloves Saturday filed into McPherson Community Building to do their Christmas shopping.
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  • Children bundled up in their hats and gloves Saturday filed into McPherson Community Building to do their Christmas shopping.
    The annual Mini Main event sponsored by McPherson Main Street and its merchants gives children pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade the opportunity to shop for presents for their loved ones.
    All gifts were $10 or less. Volunteer elves helped the children with their shopping.
    Ann Engel, McPherson Main Street director, said the event, which was in its 11th year, hosts a couple hundred young shoppers each year.
    “Every year I am amazed at how many kids come,” Engel said. “I think the coolest thing is that we have volunteers who keep coming back. They say it so much fun. We have kids who shopped and when they get older, want to be elves. It has become a tradition families have done for years.”
    For others, the event was a new experience.
    Allee Mannebach, 5, and her brother Dawson, 10, shopped for loved ones with their mother, Brooke.
    This was the first time the family, who is from Windom, attended the event.
    “I think it is a nice experience,” Brooke said. “The kids learn to give to others and think of others, and it is on a nice budget.”
    Rachel Boese, 10, of McPherson said she appreciated the independence the event gave her.
    “You do get to shop on your own,” she said. “No one is telling you what to get. You get to shop on your own and get what you want to get them.”
    In addition to the shopping, children could do Christmas crafts, have a cookie or see Santa.
    Katie Markle, 6, was enjoying crafts with her grandma, Martha Serviss of Canton.
    “This is a neat thing they can do for the kids,” Serviss said. “She has really liked the activities. I didn’t know she would like the crafts so much.”
    The event required about 110 volunteers to stage.
    And many of the volunteers said they had as much fun as the children.
    Sydney Boese, McPherson Middle School student, volunteered as an elf Saturday. She was assisting 6-year-old Santana Marquez shop for his mom and dad.
    “I wanted to do it because I love working with children,” she said.

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