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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

A crowd gathered on the lawn of the historic Thomas Gaunt House last year and watched the property's Black Hills Spruce tree light up during the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Northwest will light the tree again on Dec. 3. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

A crowd gathered on the lawn of the historic Thomas Gaunt House last year and watched the property's Black Hills Spruce tree light up during the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Northwest will light the tree again on Dec. 3. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Nov. 23, 2015

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting set for Dec. 3 at Gaunt House

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and first lady, along with their dog Ruby, address a crowd gathered outside the Gaunt House Thursday for the annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony.

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and first lady Denise Jasinski, along with their dog, Ruby, address a crowd gathered outside the Gaunt House last year during the annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony.

Local residents are invited to join the Northwest Missouri State University community Thursday, Dec. 3, for the seventh annual Holiday Tree Lighting on the lawn of the Thomas J. Gaunt House.

The event, hosted by the Jasinski family, begins at 5:15 p.m. Santa Bobby Bearcat will welcome guests for photos after the ceremony. Refreshments will be served.

The program will include remarks by University and community leaders as well as music performed by the Horace Mann Laboratory School’s Bearcat Choir and the Maryville High School Spectrum Show Choir.

Additionally, families and individuals are invited to give to Ruby’s Pantry, a philanthropic effort sponsored by Northwest and the Jasinski family in conjunction with the Holiday Tree Lighting. The Jasinski family and first dog, Ruby, invite others to assist the furry residents of Nodaway County by donating cleaning supplies to the New Nodaway Humane Society, such as bleach, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, paper towels, dish soap and laundry detergent. The Humane Society also is in need of patè type cat food for kittens.

Donors may bring cleaning supply donations to Northwest’s Office of University Marketing and Communication, located on the second floor of the Administration Building, between Nov. 19 and Dec. 3, or to the Holiday Tree Lighting at the Gaunt House. Checks payable to the New Nodaway Humane Society also may be sent to Gina Bradley, University Event Coordinator, 220 Administration Building, 800 University Drive, Maryville, MO 64468.

Last year’s effort collected nearly 400 pounds of dog and cat food and more than $300 in monetary donations to assist the local Humane Society. The organization annually cares for more than 750 animals and is supported with memberships, pet adoption fees, fundraisers and private donations.

More than 150 people attended last year's tree-lighting ceremony at the Gaunt House. The historic structure, located at the south edge of campus, was built during the 1870s and serves as the presidential residence. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468