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Helmut Schmidt, Published November 17 2009

'Season of Giving' kicks off today

The Fargo-Moorhead area’s “Season of Giving” opened today, with a goal of providing 4,500 gifts and food for children and adults this holiday season.

The season opened with a proclamation by the mayors of Fargo, Moorhead, Dilworth and West Fargo, carols, and an exhortation by Santa himself from Santa Village at Rheault Farm in south Fargo.

“Open up. Share. Help out the unfortunate,” said Bob Scott in his role as Saint Nick.

Gifts are being solicited through the Giving Tree program, said Melissa Walter, a volunteer center specialist with Fargo-based FirstLink.

Walter said the program still needs about 1,000 sponsors to supply gifts for all those who have registered for the program.

Individuals looking to buy a gift for someone in need this Christmas can go to the Giving Tree at the West Acres mall (JCPenney wing) from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6, Walter said.

Last year’s holiday effort provided 4,100 gifts and food baskets, officials from FirstLink and the Fargo Park District’s Santa Village said.

Steve Carbno, business administrator for the Salvation Army, said his agency distributed 1,500 food baskets last year. This year, it aims to distribute 1,800 food baskets.

Music for the event was provided by the Moorhead High Carolers.