By Carol Vaughn — Members of Grace United Methodist Church, in Parksley, transformed the church into a winter wonderland for the church’s first Christmas in July event, a fundraiser inspired by the donation of a large collection of Christmas decorations.
The event, held July 14 to 16, featured vendors selling Christmas items, caroling, children’s craft activities, and — the highlight — a hall filled with decorated Christmas trees and tables.
Each tree and table was judged by a committee and the decorators of the top three trees and the top table was awarded a donation made to their designated charity in their name. The top prize was $500, given to the SPCA in the name of Stacy Robbins, who decorated two of the three prize-winning trees.
“A lot of times nonprofits have a lot of money to come in around the end of the year. This is going to be a little shot in the arm to raise awareness at this time of year,” said Lisa Lewis, an organizer.
Each child who attended the event received a gift, including a Christmas ornament, a coloring book, and a new book.
“Yesterday, we had a little girl, … she was probably three or four years old, and she had come down the steps and when she rounded the corner, she just stopped,” Lewis said, adding, “Her eyes, they were as big as saucers. She just stood there for a minute and she said, ‘This must be the North Pole.’”
All funds raised will be used for missions and outreach programs of the church.
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