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VACAVILLE YOUTH PARTNER WITH THE SALVATION ARMY

Bells jangled, elves giggled and Santa twirled with a reindeer Wednesday in Vacaville.
The pint-sized band of Christmas merrymakers, all Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club kids in disguise, were spreading joy in front of Lucky’s on East Monte Vista Avenue while ringing bells for The Salvation Army at the same time.
“I think it’s kind of fun and it’s going to help a lot of people that are homeless,” said Jeremiah Hassen, 9.
Hassen and his friends from Club headquarters, aka the Trower Center, frolicked in full holiday costume while soliciting donations for The Salvation Army.
Choruses of “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas” were frequent as were impromptu dance routines — many resembling interpretive dance — and singing.
Lots and lots of singing.
“Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman” and Feliz Navidad” often ended with lots of laughter, hugging and sometimes falling down.
“I think it’s fun. It’s fun doing all this stuff,” said the elf also known as Alyssa Hurley, 10. Wiggling around, she often could be seen peering out from a stand of Christmas trees like an Elf on the Shelf before jumping out and ringing her bell.
Fellow elves repeated a familiar question — “Would you like an ornament?” before handing over gorgeous sequined bells of green and red and gold.
“It’s nice and Santa came,” offered Roxanne Cortes, 6.
Her sister, Ruby Cortes, 8, agreed.
“It’s nice to give people money when they don’t have anything,” she said.
Imanol Juarez, 8, simply feels it’s part of the reason for the season.
“It’s really fun and we’re being very nice to homeless people,” he said. “And doing a lot of good.”
Passersby were obviously delighted with the youth, buying them cookies and bottles of water. Lucky’s provided snacks as well, and the youth thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate.
Susan Schwartz, longtime volunteer and event coordinator, expressed pride in her charges.
“They’re learning so much and they know this is for the homeless,” she said.
The youth are set to continue ringing bells throughout the holiday season.
By Kimberly K. Fu, kfu@thereporter.com, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter