By: Lisa Bicknell
On Thursday, August 20th, students of Estill County can visit the Plaza Pharmacy to get an early dose of holiday cheer just in time for their return to school. Santa Claus will be stopping by the pharmacy from 10 a.m. to noon to boost morale before the start of the new school year.
Back to School with Santa Claus is spearheaded by Plaza Pharmacy owner Lisa Mayes and manager Marcy Grace. Attending kids will receive school supplies as well as a few other treats.
“The way we ended up deciding to do it this way, Lisa is going to be handing out ice cream and a pouch with back to school supplies like pencils and erasers. Mr. Claus will be giving away stuffed animals that he’s brought for them,” Grace said.
As the event is several days away, the specifics of the event are still being worked out at the moment. The people at Plaza Pharmacy are keeping social distancing measures and policies in mind and playing things by ear in case those policies change.
“We’re still kind of working out the kinks on how we’re gonna do it because of the Covid-19 regulations. We’re thinking of doing it outside and just having one child at a time. Kind of like the way Mr. Claus did his earlier event at Backstreet Grub where he handed out his gifts from a distance with a grabbing tool. But like I said, they’re still working out the kinks so we’re not 100 percent sure exactly how we’re doing everything yet,” she said.
Planning for Back to School with Santa Claus began in July. The inspiration behind the event has everything to do with the mental health of the kids in the county. With all the anxieties the students face going back to school during the midst of a pandemic, Grace says that Back to School with Santa Claus will help lift spirits.
“We’re concerned about the kids and their mental well-being right now. They’ve been kind of stuck and haven’t been able to play with other kids for awhile now. We’re doing something to kind of encourage them and lift their spirits up before school starts back. They see all of this stuff going on right now about the pandemic and don’t know how to process it, adults don’t really know how to process it either. It’s a difficult situation for them. So we’re doing something to lift their spirits and get their mind off of things,” Grace said.