DENVILLE, NJ -- Lakeview and Riverview Elementary Schools students had an opportunity to purchase a variety of gifts and items at each school's annual holiday shoppes on Dec. 7. Lakeview held an additional day of shopping the day prior.

“This allows students to buy items for their families,” said Leah Horky, a PTA volunteer and township resident who organized the shoppe at Lakeview.

“They also learn how to budget their money. I enjoy doing this event so much. It’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

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In the end, hundreds of elementary students visited their gymnasium to examine and buy products for their loved ones. Some choices were easier to make than others. Nevertheless -- one task crossed off the holiday to-do list.

“I like holiday shopping, and my school has a lot of good gifts for my parents,” said 10-year-old Lakeview fifth grader Ryan Stadelmann.

The holiday shoppes featured items such as a variety of toys, clothing, jewelry, tree ornaments and coffee mugs with “best parent” on them.

“Shopping at your own school is awesome,” said 10-year-old Riverview fifth grader Haydyn Cote.

“A lot of volunteering and work goes into it, and the things we can buy are good deals.”

The holiday shoppes at Lakeview and Riverview have been held by PTA of both schools for the past 10 years, and serves as a fundraiser for the schools. It also is an opportunity for Valleyview Middle School students to volunteer and assist elementary students in selecting the best Christmas gifts.

“I feel pretty lucky to help kids here,” said 12-year-old seventh grader Macey Hyatt.

“I get to help them pick out their things if they don’t know what to get, and they get to share all their gifts with friends and family.”

The holiday shoppes also featured bake sales and arts and crafts stations where students could make ornaments for their Christmas trees.

“The holiday shoppes are not only a way to support the PTA, but also to bring every Riverview and Lakeview family together to celebrate the holiday season,” said Riverview’s PTA president Mary Ferrone.

“It’s really fun here and you get to see your friends and buy nice stuff for family,” said nine-year-old Riverview fourth grader Lucy Coster, who comes every year with her mom Mandy, brother Jeremy and sister Ruby.

In total, the holiday shoppes helped raise roughly $1,000 for Lakeview’s PTA and $2,000 for Riverview’s PTA.


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