The Evangelism Committee of Two Ridges Presbyterian Church in Wintersville is getting ready for the church's fourth-annual community Christmas tree-lighting and party - a free event open to all.
It will be held Dec. 9, beginning at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary with the singing of Christmas carols, then for a brief service outside to light the live Christmas tree, courtesy of Mav Kearney throwing the switch.
Attendees will then head to the church's fellowship hall for hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and a visit with Santa, who will present each child up to age 10 with a gift.
With some of the toys being prepared for the community Christmas tree-lighting and party are, front, from left, Mary Kay Bates, Mary Paice and Ruth Dearth, and back, Pastor Bill Lawrence and Kenny Dearth.
-- Janice R. Kiaski
In addition to that, there's something new this year, according to organizers.
There will be four special surprises that children in two age categories - from 0 to age 5 and from age 6 to 10 - will be eligible to win in a drawing. In both categories, names will be drawn for a boy and a girl to win a donated bicycle.
Mary Paice, chairman of the evangelism committee, noted the party is made possible through donations from the church family.
The event began as an outreach, according to Pastor Bill Lawrence, that would initially be a tree-lighting but then grew to include a party and visit from Santa. "Last year more a hundred attended," he said. "We had the most kids ever last year and hope to keep it growing."