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Tradition Brightens Jenkins Village
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
November 24, 2014

CAPTION: Kaden Cranmer, a third-grader at Field School (second from left), helps Santa turn on the lights at Jenkins Town House Christmas Village. He was joined on stage Friday by his brother (left) and Mayor Chuck Haney (right).

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

The Central School Stingers Choir, comprised of 142 fourth and fifth grade students, helped usher in the holiday season by providing seasonal songs as part of the Jenkins Town House Christmas Village lighting ceremony Friday evening. The choir, under the direction of music teacher Dan Venner, is the largest ever in its history and contributed to one of the largest crowds to gather for the lighting ceremony. Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney served as the master of ceremonies for the program. After welcoming those in attendance, he introduced Major John Flannigan of The Salvation Army, who provided a Christmas prayer and thanked the people of the community who have supported the Salvation Army. "This year makes 127 years The Salvation Army has been in Chillicothe," Flannigan said. "This is one of the cities the Army has been in the longest in the United States. We want to thank your for your good support." He explained bell ringers with red kettles are located at various places in town and said that the money raised through the kettles goes toward helping people in the local community. Last year, The Salvation Army provided more than 300 baskets of food and provided toys for families. Support through the Christmas season also helps meet local needs throughout the year. "You see us mostly at Christmas but we're here year-round, every day of the year with the food pantry and other types of services that we provide," Flannigan said.

The mayor then introduced Kaden Cranmer, a third grade student at Field School, who was chosen to help Santa turn on the village lights. He was joined on stage by his younger brother, Jace. Citing the nomination form submitted by his teacher, Haney said Kaden is one of those students who can light up a room and is always thinking of others. "This is very apparent in his everyday behavior," Haney stated. "Many times per day, he offers to help another student on his or her assignment, he holds the door for others. He is the first to offer encouragement to a fellow classmate and is the first to offer a hand. Other students are drawn to Kaden because of his warm, welcoming personality. Kaden has an unshakeable faith that never wavers. He is always thankful for his blessings and prays for others. Kaden is an inspiration, a true role model to his peers and always brings out the best in others." When asked what was on his Christmas list, Kaden replied: "All I want are little things; not really big things. But, I'll just take an action figure."

Soon after introducing Kaden, the Chillicothe Fire Department's fire truck arrived with Santa among cheers from the crowd. Santa stepped onto the stage, and he and Kaden threw the switch together to illuminate the Christmas village. The public was then invited to enter through the gate, tour the village, and visit with Santa. Visiting the Jenkins Town House Christmas Village is a tradition for many people. The Chillicothe Rotary Club organized this year's event with assistance from The Salvation Army. The Rotary Club presented Kaden with a gift and Haney, as mayor and as in previous years, presented him with a check.

The Jenkins Town House Christmas Village was started in 1972 by Jess and Helen Jenkins, who started the Jenkins Town House, a home for developmentally disabled women at 903 Bryan Street in 1962. They started the town house to meet the needs of their own developmentally disabled daughter by providing her with a place for lifelong companionship. The Jenkins family introduced the Christmas village as a way to say "thank you" to the community for its overwhelming support and acceptance of their special home. The Christmas Village began small and continued to expand with new features each year. The display spans about a half-block and is filled with all types of holiday displays.


Christmas in Paradise
November 24, 2014

CAPTION: The Princess of America entry, with the theme of "Frozen Paradise" represents the beauty of winter and features national titleholders. The entry garnered the Grand Marshal's trophy for the parade.

C-T Photo

The 68th annual Chillicothe Holiday Parade was Saturday morning and was sponsored by Hedrick Medical Center and Midwest Gloves and Gear. The theme was "Christmas in Paradise," and there were just over 80 entries. The parade was announced live from the courthouse location on Washington Street by Bill Shaffer and Dan Bryan. The grand marshal for the Holiday Parade this year was Dave Rogers. 

Parade entries were judged on use of theme, originality, and appearance. The Grand Marshal's trophy was awarded to Princess of America. The float's theme was, "Frozen Paradise," which represented the beauty of winter and features national titleholders Stephanie Mahaffey, Georgia Foph, Jaydin Bolin and Brooklyn Foph. They were the winners at the national pageant in Branson last August, and they will spend their year raising funds and awareness for The March of Dimes, Zebra Strong, The Spina Bifida Association and Children's Mercy Hospital.

C-T Photo

The winners of the Youth Float Division were: Dawn Sunrise Happy Hustlers 4-H Club, 1st place; Cub Scout Troop 120, 2nd place; Turning Point Preschool, 3rd place. The winners of the Business / Organization float Division were: Princess of America, 1st place; Robertson Insurance Services, 2nd place; Hy-Vee Food Store, 3rd place. Winners of the Non-Profit Organization Float Division were: Bishop Hogan, 1st place; Trinity Evangelical Church, 2nd place; The Tornadoes, 3rd place. Winners of the Band Division were: Green City R-1, 1st place; Penny High School of Hamilton, 2nd place; and Linn County R-1, 3rd place.

The parade will be broadcast on Zito Media channel 6 on Monday, December 1, at 7 p.m.; Thursday December 4 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday December 6 at 2 p.m. DVD copies of the Holiday Parade will be sold by Adam Mast at Mast Productions as well.

The Festival of Lights in Simpson Park also came on at 5:30 p.m., November 22, 2014, and may be viewed through January 4, 2015.


Candid Shots

Bands & Mascots
Mascots, such as, KC Wolf and Sluggerrr, made it to the parade. The participating bands got everyone in the holiday spirit by providing cheery Christmas music.

Quite a few important people made appearances at the Holiday Parade this year, including Santa and Mayor Chuck Haney.

Holiday Parade Floats
The parade had over 80 entries this year. Featured are a few of the amazing floats that went down Washington Street on Saturday morning.

CT Photo 12 03 13

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