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Lamar Rotary Helping Foster the Holiday Spirit

Santa, Santa and Judy Turpin

Santa, Santa and Judy Turpin

The Lamar Rotary is laying the groundwork for a holiday tradition, Saturday, December 17th, that may develop into an annual Christmas themed event.  Rotary President, George Gotto, said Rotarians will use the Shore Arts Center as their holiday headquarter for a series of events beginning at 10am on the 17th, the Saturday which corresponds to the championship games day for the Holiday Basketball Tournament at the Lamar Community Building.

He and fellow Rotarian, Judy Turpin, were busy earlier in the week, bringing decorations into the Shore Arts Center. “We’re hosting this free event to everyone in the Lamar area and especially to those out-of-town visitors who are on hand for the annual basketball tournament.  Children are welcome to drop in and enjoy some food and beverages, decorate cookies, work some organized crafts they can take with them when they leave and receive a gift bag from Santa’s helpers.”  Gotto said Santa’s train will make special trips every 30 minutes between the Shore Arts Center and the Enchanted Forest where the children can receive some small gift items.

Judy Turpin explained, “We hope to have Christmas Carolers, dressed in holiday garb from the Charles Dicken’s era, similar to the movie, A Christmas Carol”. She explained that a newly organized group of younger members, called Rotoract, will help out with the festivities at the Shore Arts Center.  “These are young adults, between 18 and 30 years of age and are led by Chris Payne and Lanie Mireles who is the director of Human Services for Prowers County.”  Turpin said the intention is to have the Rotoract work with local Rotary members, but in some other areas which may have more appeal to a younger crowd, “Similar to the Jaycees organization which was so active in Lamar a number of years back,” she stated.

Brew Unto Others, just next door, will help supply some of the snacks and drinks and there will be plenty of music, from the carolers, to piano recitals inside the Arts Center, to Take Five, the jazz band, which will wrap up the event with their afternoon performance. Gotto added, “We hope to make this an annual event which corresponds to the annual Holiday Tournament.  It’s a good way to develop some downtown traffic for our retailers and provide an outlet for those visiting our community during the basketball games.”

By Russ Baldwin

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