PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Gulf Coast State College faculty and staff returned to elementary school Wednesday for a holiday surprise.
College employees and two local dentists donated snacks, pens and pencils, temporary tattoos and other items to fill stockings for each of the more than 250 Tyndall Elementary students. GCSC surprised the school by choosing to sponsor them this year.
“I think we were just as excited as the students, knowing how magical Christmas already is and just adding to that,” principal Kimberly Kirkman said. “We really do thank our partners at Gulf Coast State College.”
GCSC staff passed out jingle bells and interacted with students during lunch, and The Jazzadors, a student music group, performed. After eating, each child received their stocking.
GCSC enrollment services assistant Judi Gannaway says they wanted to spread holiday happiness and let the students know GCSC will be there for them now and in the future.
“I wanted to make today really special for them. They’re great military kids and we want them to come see us when they’re ready,” Gannaway said.
While the event’s focus was on the students, it also brought joy to Gannaway.
“I love it. It’s what I live for, this is the day that I get the most excitement out of because the kids are so amazing, they’re so receptive,” Gannaway said.
This is the third year GCSC has sponsored a school, and the first time Tyndall Elementary was chosen.