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Dec. 1, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - The Northwest Missouri State University community and local residents marked the start of the holiday season Tuesday Night with the University's annual holiday tree lighting.More than 100 people gathered on the lawn of the historic Thomas Gaunt House for the event, which included performances by The Spirit and Truth Gospel Choir, led by Northwest student Elise Jones, and the Horace Mann Bearcat Choir, directed by Vanessa Parsons.
The event, hosted by the Jasinski family, also included remarks from Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski, Maryville Mayor Chad Jackson and Christian Campus House minister Brandon Smith.
"This is a season I love," Jackson said. "I love Thanksgiving. I love Christmas. It brings warmth. It brings cheer. I want to challenge all of to reflect and think this next year about what we are doing to enhance our community. What are we doing to promote and support Northwest Missouri State's mission statement? As a community, what are we doing to focus on student success, every student, every day?"
In conjunction with the tree lighting, Northwest announced the results of its Project Holiday Hope initiative, to which residents were encouraged to donate coats, jackets, blankets, canned food and other items for families in need. Collection bins were placed throughout campus and at Northwest football games during the month of November.
The University collected 68 blankets, 30 men's coats, 36 women's coats, 27 kid's coats, 102 pairs of mittens, 48 pairs of socks, 31 jackets and pullovers and 47 winter hats, for a total of 389 clothing items. Additionally, the University collected 77 pounds of food items and $352.25 to assist with energy bills.
David Weichinger, Nodaway County director for Community Services, and Rod Shain, food pantry director for The Ministry Center, accepted the donations during Tuesday night's event. Both thanked Northwest for supporting their organizations.
Project Holiday Hope was sponsored by Northwest's Student Senate, Faculty Senate, Administrative and Professional Council, and Support Staff Council.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468