'This is my heart:' Gym at Auer Avenue School transforms into holiday market for students

MILWAUKEE -- Students at Auer Avenue School in Milwaukee got the chance to do a little holiday shopping on Tuesday, Dec. 17. The school's gym was transformed overnight into a holiday market.

It was a holiday transformation that can only happen with a little Christmas magic and a little bit of muscle.

"I'm like, oh yeah, we'll have some boxes, we'll wrap them up, and we'll have some presents -- the kids can come and shop. It will be such a great time," said Zannetta Walker, Principal of Auer Avenue Elementary School.

Christmas Holiday Bazaar

Joanie Marchillo

Joanie Marchillo and Zannetta Walker are the two masterminds behind the "Christmas Holiday Bazaar" at Auer Avenue Elementary School.

"She actually voluntold me that I was going to be in charge of this," said Joanie Marchillo, retired teacher of 34 years.

Together, this market has been making an appearance once a year, for roughly five years.

"When they come into the gym it's like, 'Santa is here! Oh my God! Santa is here! Oh my God! Santa is here at school,'" said Walker.

Christmas Holiday Bazaar

Christmas Holiday Bazaar

Kids can use tickets that they've earned during the school year to buy gifts.

Zannetta Walker

"They wrap something up and they get to give it to their little sister, their little brother, their parents, and grannies," said Marchillo.

From toys and crafts to health and school supplies. All of which are items donated to the school.

"It's just a wonderful experience for them and they love it," said Marchillo.

For two of Santa's biggest helpers, this is a labor of love.

Christmas Holiday Bazaar

"This is my heart, these kids are my heart," said Marchillo.

"Believe in the magic of Christmas," said Walker.

This holiday market only lasts for one day. Starting Wednesday, Dec. 18, staff will begin to prepare for next year.

Zannetta Walker, Principal of Auer Avenue School thanked her community partners for the donations that helped make the Holiday Bazaar a success. They include: