Teaming up to bring Santa to the mall

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INNISFAIL – Santa Claus made a recent visit to the Co-op Mall as part of a new partnership between Parent Link and mall businesses.

“We got together with the various businesses, along with the Co-op Mall manager and decided this was a great idea to bring some vitality into the mall,” said Tracy Davis-McMillan, Parent Link coordinator for Innisfail. “All of the mall merchants participated by donating books, candy canes or gave a donation of time or materials.”

Santa Claus visited the mall on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to greet children and families and have take photos with them.

It was the first time Santa has visited the mall.

“It’s been steady with the market here today and the Co-op Kids Club event,” she said. “We all coordinated together. We’ve seen a lot more traffic in the mall today, so it’s been good.”

The Co-op food store held its monthly Co-op Kids Club event on Dec. 9 as well, inviting children to decorate gingerbread cookies and make snowflakes.

The festive activities attracted a good crowd of families, said Davis-McMillan, and helped provide some Christmas fun for mall shoppers.

“Santa comes to Parent Link every year, but this is the first time Santa’s been in the mall,” she said. “It’s been great because children can have their picture taken with Santa and then pick them up the following week. RE/MAX Compass is donating all the pictures and having them printed for the families (free of charge).”

Davis-McMillan noted Santa visits other malls across Alberta at this time of year, and said it was a wonderful tradition to see started at the Co-op Mall.

“I think it’s a great tradition, it brings families together,” said Davis-McMillan. “It’s what Parent Link is about and it’s about community. We have seen a lot of different people coming into the mall today that we haven’t seen previously,” she added, noting it gives families the chance to shop at the local stores in the mall, buy groceries at the Co-op food store and see where Parent Link is located.

She said this event may be the first of future collaborations with mall merchants, bringing family oriented events to the Co-op Mall in Innisfail.

Tracy Davis-McMillan, parent link coordinator

“We got together with the various businesses, along with the Co-op Mall manager and decided this was a great idea to bring some vitality into the mall.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.