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      Santa's Gogebic workshop helps kids

      Santa's Gogebic County workshop was in full force this week. Twenty "elves," or local volunteers, were hard at work making sure every boy and girl believes.

      "People have to make a decision between buying heat for their homes, fuel for their homes, between having electricity and water service that doesn't get shut off and toys, so we'll help with Christmas," said Jim Milden with the Ironwood Kiwanis.

      The Ironwood Kiwanis placed 30 giving trees in local businesses and churches throughout the county in November. The trees were adorned with ornaments including the age and gender of local children in need for the community to buy gifts for.

      "The community put the sparkle back in Christmas," Milden said. "Across the range, with the help of the community, children wake up on Christmas morning and there's toys there."

      Toys, clothes and blankets are all collected for sorting at Santa's headquarters, also known as the Ironwood Memorial Building.

      Since the effort began six years ago, the need has more than doubled. This year about 500 children will receive gifts from Santa's Headquarters and the Gogebic County community. They've stepped up to the plate.

      "This is not a wealthy community but a generous community," said Kiwanis member Dr. Thomas Peacock. "And without the generosity of the people of this community, this project wouldn't be possible. These are people who may have little, but they reach out to those who have less."

      The community saw the fruits of their labor when families came to pick up presents later in the week maintaining holiday cheer.