Rocklin High students set up their own mall

Thunder Galleria open to needy children
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Thunder Galleria open to needy children By Amanda Calzada Placer Herald Correspondent The holiday spirit will fill Rocklin High when students host the 12th annual Thunder Galleria on Monday. “I wouldn’t miss Thunder since I have done it a few times and it’s just awesome,” said Rocklin alumnus Andy Chung, who has continued to volunteer at the event since graduation. Thunder Galleria, now a signature event of Rocklin High, is a charity event organized by high school students on behalf of underprivileged children. Rocklin High’s multipurpose room is transformed into a “mall” where the children are accompanied by student “elves” to “shop” for family and friends with their currency, “Thunderbucks.” Elves are required to complete a brief training that stresses two rules. First, elves must stay with their shoppers at all times and two, they can not text or use their phone when they are with their shopper. Clubs and organizations on the school campus run the shops, which are organized into departments like an actual store. Items offered during Thunder Galleria are either gently used or new donations provided by the Rocklin community. Other student groups provide interactive activities, such as a card-making station, a cookie-decorating station, and a gift-wrapping station. Children also have the opportunity to take a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, as well as meet Disney princesses. “The atmosphere inside the Thunder Galleria is like a Santa’s workshop in the North Pole plus the elves,” said Thunder Galleria board member and Rocklin High senior Devina Tjhia. In past years, Rocklin alumni have either volunteered at the event or donated gifts. According to Rocklin High’s journalism department, roughly 21 percent of students last year donated items. Toys and items that are not “purchased” during Thunder Galleria are donated to local charities. Residents interested in donating new or gently used gifts can drop them off at the Rocklin High School Office or to the College and Career Center between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. by Friday. No furniture, electronics or clothing will be accepted. The Thunder Galleria Board of Directors, which includes representatives of all grades, begins planning the holiday event in May.