To the editor:
Our community came together this Christmas season with some very special events and activities.
The Christmas Child Shoebox Project provided 270 shoeboxes jam-packed with necessities and toys for needy children of the world. Sponsored by St. John's Church, Delta Kappa Gamma, Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary service organizations, this is a true community project. Fourth and fifth grade art students of Kathryn Christensen decorated the boxes. Many families, individuals and Naomi Konkel's students helped pack boxes. Bonnie Dent and Julia Glaab were in charge. Thank you to all who helped; just think of 270 smiles.
Mountain Village Holiday sponsored by the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce, Grand Canyon Railway and the city of Williams was an exciting and fun start to the season. With a community tree to be proud of, lighting contests, parade and other activities, Mountain Village Holiday jump-started our holiday spirit. A special thanks to Jim Winbourn, who beautifully made our town his decorating project.
The Lions Club's tree on the hill is again lighting up our hillside and wishing anyone traveling past, a happy holiday season. With the permission of the Purdy family, the work of Tom Hooker and the cooperation of APS, this special tradition continued. What a special greeting this is, to and from our town.
The Community Christmas Dinner served many families a wonderful traditional meal at Doc Holliday's Steakhouse. With a stuffed toy for every child, Santa was available for free pictures. Raffle items helped add excitement for the children, as many won bicycles and wheeled toys. Kiwanians were joined by other service clubs and individuals in creating this warm and friendly event. Tom Kennelly and crew cooked and provided drinks; Carol Glassburn and Bud Parenteau were in charge of the feast and fun.
The Lions Club Toys for Kids had more toy donations than ever. All cards from the angel trees were taken and every child's card was returned with a gift(s). In addition, the employees of Williams Health Care Center all voted to give their Christmas bonuses to Toys for Kids. The Grand Canyon Chapter of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Club again generously brought toys for distribution. Thank you to all the Lions, Chairman Jackie and Earl Haugen, merchants and friends who made sure Williams area children had a great Christmas morning.
The Law Enforcement Toy Drive extended a hand to another 74 area families and provided gifts for their children. As part of the Northern Arizona Toy Drive (collected at the Flagstaff Mall), Sarah MacRae was the local chairman. As donations were received, the two local toy drives shared the lists for the best coverage of those in need. Thanks to those who gathered names and made delivery possible.
ESA Servicemen's Boxes were also generously filled with local donations, handmade decorations and cheerful reminders of home. Thank you to Dorothy Miller and the other loving hands who packed the boxes and to all those who donated.
St. John's Church Advent Concerts offered Williams residents traditional and classical music provided by professional musicians and their families. Helping us remember the true meaning of Christmas, these Sunday evening concerts were a wonderful addition to the holidays, thanks to Rev. Ann Johnson and the church family.
Only some of the many special activities in our Williams area are recognized here. We are proud of this little town that does so much. Thank you to all who "gave back" to make this a great Christmas Season.
David and Bonnie Dent