Christmas in the Park has the holiday spirit

Organizers of the annual Follansbee Christmas in the Park event say the holiday season is filled with the spirit of giving.

And that’s why they continue to share proceeds from the annual event with members of the community.

The festival has been a staple on the October calendar for nearly two decades. It offers residents from across the region the chance to get an early start on the Christmas season, while raising money to help others.

This year’s beneficiaries were recognized during Monday’s meeting of City Council. They include the family of Arianna Pinacchio, a local girl who has diabetes, and the Follansbee R.E.A.C.H. Program.

Both will receive $3,000, money that will be a big help. For Pinacchio and her parents, Franco and Renee, the dollars will help pay for insulin, which the 10-year-old is required to take on a regular basis, for example.

The R.E.A.C.H. Program, meanwhile, will use the money to continue its mission of providing food to local residents throughout the year. During the last 47 years, the volunteer-run pantry has provided food to more than 140,000 households.

Officials with the festival also announced that proceeds from the event will fund two $1,000 scholarships that will be given to two members of the Brooke High School Class of 2020 in the name of Christine Weiler, a longtime committee member who died in February as a result of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Money for the donations was raised through numerous drawings held throughout the festival, as well as donations and booth fees.

Festival co-chairs Kathy Santoro and Bill Secrist, along with members of their organizing committee, once again have earned the thanks of the community for their hard work and generosity, components that make the event special.

That’s a reason to look forward to next October and the 18th rendition of the festival, when Christmas in the Park once again will bring that special spirit of giving to the region three months early.


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