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Legion family hosts children's Christmas party

Seven-month-old Aaliyah Mayo of Osage attended the Children's Christmas Party with her parents, Elizabeth and Christian Mayo. She received a stuffed animal from Mrs. and Mr. Claus (a.k.a. Mary Safratowich and Jerry Benham). (Photos by Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)

Eager children jammed the Park Rapids American Legion on Sunday to met Santa Claus and receive a present.

The Children's Christmas Party, a long-standing tradition sponsored by the American Legion and Auxiliary, provides a free meal of hot dogs, chips and pop to families and gifts to area children, ages 10 and under. It's a tradition carried on for more than 30 years.

Well over 300 families attended Sunday's event, according to organizers.

Santa (Jerry Benham) and Mrs. Claus (Mary Safratowich), with the help of Legion family elves, handed out age-appropriate toys.