MSC Vet Tech to Host Yearly Santa Event for Johnston County Kids


For over 10 years, students in Murray State College’s veterinary technology program have hosted a Santa Night for the children of Johnston County. What began as a “pictures with your pets” holiday event has morphed into one of the area’s most beloved holiday traditions, attracting hundreds of children and their parents.

This year’s Santa Night will take place on Thursday, December 1, 2016 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Johnston County Fair Barn.  Johnston County children 10 and under are invited to attend this free event.

On Santa Night, every child age 10 and under receives a gift from, and a photo with, Santa. The festive event features games, caroling, cookies, and hot chocolate for everyone attending. Preparation for the event includes coordinating with the North Pole to make sure Santa and Mrs. Claus have appropriate transportation. 

“This is simply one of the most well-organized and important community-service events sponsored by Murray State College.  The veterinary technology program’s faculty and students raise money for and participate in this project with joy in their hearts and love for these kids. Every year I’m amazed by the crowds and the patience with which kids wait in line to see Santa.  It truly is amazing,” MSC President Joy McDaniel said.

In addition to the hard work from veterinary technology students, faculty and staff, partnerships and community support help fund the event. Students hold fundraisers, and community organizations and individuals contribute to help offset the cost.  Thanks to generous donations in the past, organizers have been able to provide extra help when they see need within a specific family. One year, an entire Christmas was donated to a family including gifts, food, and a decorated tree. Another year, a child found a bicycle under his tree after a hard year for his family. 

“This event is one of my favorite events, and we hope others in the community will help us make it a wonderful evening for children in Johnston County,” MSC Vet Tech Instructor Debbie Reed said.

“For me, personally, Christmas begins the first Thursday of December,” Reed said.

Contact Debbie Reed at or 580-387-7521 to make a Santa Night donation or for more information on the event.

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