By MIKE JAMES The Independent
CANNONSBURG When Dominic and Rico Castle pushed their shopping cart through the Walmart lobby Wednesday, with the promise of $400 to fill it with Christmas plunder, one would assume the brothers would take the shortest route to the toy department.
They had different plans, however. “Let’s go to the jewelry department first and get Mom something,” said Dominic, who is a Boyd County Middle School seventh-grader.
Rico, who is in fifth grade at Cannonsburg Elementary, beelined to a display case glittering with gold and gems and the boys soon chose a suitable and affordable piece.
“We get her a ring every year. It’s kind of a tradition,” Dominic said.
Then they selected a gift for their father and two stuffed Paw Patrol dogs for their 1-year-old brother Timmy before wheeling to the electronics department to pore over the PlayStation games.
They were assisted in their selections by Bill Boblett, Boyd County’s interim superintendent, who this Christmas season launched what may become a district tradition, Shop with the Superintendent.
District staff donated the money and Youth Service Center coordinator Vicki Caniff referred the Castle boys as recipients; their mother Melinda Cantrell is recuperating from hospitalization and has been unable to get out to shop for her sons.
The small-scale effort was intentional, Boblett said, the idea being to make a significant impact and make Christmas special for a couple of kids at a time.
Their first choices in electronics and toys were swift — a Minecraft game and two Nerf guns so large they probably should have come with wheels, followed by a drone for Dominic, plastic Minecraft figures for Rico, and a Monopoly game for both.
The search slowed considerably once the boys were down to their last few dollars; they tossed some Legos and assorted trinkets into the cart and were done.
“We always get to pick one early gift so we have to sort through all of this,” Rico said while loading their loot in Boblett’s car.
The expedition relieved at least one source of stress for Cantrell, who is undergoing expensive treatments and is still unable to get out of the house to shop. “I haven’t been able to get out and buy anything,” she said. “I have good boys. Rico has the biggest heart and he doesn’t leave out anyone,” she said. Dominic is similarly generous, she said.
“I told the superintendent I appreciate the help. My treatments cost a lot,” she said.
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