Gifts sought for Down East Christmas program

Posted Dec. 16, 2009, at 7:36 p.m.

Chairwoman Rhonda French wrote that it is not too late to contribute to the 25th “Let’s All Have A Merrier Christmas” program based in Jonesport and serving underprivileged children in Down East Maine.

“We are still looking for teenage gifts,” she wrote in response to my e-mail asking how much time remains for readers to donate to this program.

Although the program was designed to provide new toys and clothing for children, French wrote earlier, “We seem to be okay on the toys; however, it is the clothing that we’re coming up short on, especially for the teen boys and teen girls on our list.”

Also needed are “bath sets, cologne, watches, etc.” for teens.

But if you can’t donate the item, money to purchase them “would be such a great help,” she wrote.

Donations may be sent to Let’s All Have a Merrier Christmas, attention Rhonda French, chairperson, P.O. Box 35, Jonesport 04649, or e-mail rhfrench@yahoo.com.

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The Rev. Joel Krueger reports First Church in Belfast will hold the fifth annual Greater Bay Area Ministerium live Nativity at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, on the front yard of First Church, 104 Church St.

The program features clergy and lay people from the various ministerium churches, and this year “there will even be animals,” Krueger wrote of “miniature goats and lambs, which the children can visit and pet after the telling of the story.”

Everyone is invited and attendees can enjoy “fellowship and refreshments in the church parlor” after the event.

For more information, call the church office at 338-2282.

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Shirar Patterson, of Downtown Bangor Corp., reminds parents and guardians that Santa leave Bangor late Saturday afternoon to return to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve.

Therefore, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday Dec. 19, at 115 Main St., Bangor.

Children may meet Santa and Mrs. Claus “and share their holiday wishes,” Patterson wrote, and adults can bring cameras for a free photo opportunity.

Patterson also reports that Santa will host a story time and singalong with local performer Sara Yasner of Sara Sings, and carolers will be at Santa’s Workshop and around downtown after 2:30 p.m. that day.

For more information, visit www.downtownbangor.com.

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Last week I passed along a request to you from Bill Rae of Manna Ministries in Bangor that you assist needy families during the holiday season, and Rae has forwarded additional information about that request.

In addition to visiting Manna and “adopting” a family or individual for whom to purchase gifts, choosing a wish from its Tree of Hope, or making a donation to Manna, Rae invites you to “join us in the JC Penny court” at Bangor Mall “and pick a gift and go shop for your neighbor.”

Manna is at 629 Main St., Bangor, and you may obtain more information by calling 990-2870.

“Please remember,” Rae wrote, “your neighbors, this year, need our help.

“Christmas is for the entire family, not just kids.”

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Members of Hampden Highlands United Methodist Church invite you to a Christmas singalong at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at the church, 44 Kennebec Road, Hampden.

The public is welcome to this free event, where you can sing your favorite Christmas songs and enjoy coffee, cookies and cocoa afterward.

For more information, call 862-4195.

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Woodlawn Museum executive director Joshua Campbell Torrance reminds readers A Victorian Christmas at Woodlawn on Route 172, Ellsworth offers events and activities “that will delight people of all ages and help create lasting holiday memories.”

Woodlawn offers house tours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Dec. 23. You will enjoy “spectacular decorations created by a talented team of florists and decorators,” Torrance wrote, and listen to a special audio tour presentation about the history of Christmas.

Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 5-12 and free for children under 5.

The Woodlawn Holiday Farmers Markets are Sunday, Dec. 20, and Sunday, Dec. 27, and “just a few spaces remain,” Torrance wrote, for the final Holiday High Tea at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23.

The final Family Saturday will be Dec. 19 in the Sleigh Barn, and the Woodlawn Museum store is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., daily through Dec. 23, or by special appointment.

For more information or to make reservations, call 667-8671, or e-mail events@woodlawnmuseum.org.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.net; 990-8288.

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