Youngsters, Seniors Share Celebration

NEIGHBORS

December 23, 1993|By KATHY SUTPHIN

Christmas celebrations bridged the generation gap Monday evening when a group of YMCA child care participants visited the Mount Airy Senior Center to share the holiday spirit in food and song.

The holiday event was an evening gathering for an audience of about 50 senior citizens, who ordinarily meet at the Ridge Avenue facility on weekdays.

"We have brought a little program for you this evening," said local YMCA child care director Sue Reifsnider.

Fourteen students who participate in the YMCA's before- and after-school care program at Mount Airy Elementary shared a fried chicken dinner with the seniors before their presentation of "Captain Cat and the Carol Singers." The YMCA performers ranged from second to fifth grade, said Mrs. Reifsnider.

The program, based on a children's holiday mystery written by Jeremy Lloyd, featured readers Megan Sengebusch, 9, and Marissa McDermott, 8. Mrs. Reifsnider also read the amusing tale about the disappearing chorus of mice and the feline chorus director who was a suspect in the rodent-related disappearances.

From "The Holly and The Ivy" to "The Twelve Days of Christmas," the one-hour show incorporated an orchestration of traditional Christmas carols -- sung in their entirety by the youngsters and oldsters. Allie Bierly, a student at South Carroll High School, accompanied the group on the center's piano.

"I felt a little nervous but I felt good," said 10-year-old Eric Carter. "I like to sing Christmas carols."

"I enjoyed it a lot," added 9-year-old Beth Duttera. "I like to sing, 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.' "

Senior center patron Virginia Lupish said she enjoyed the children's singing of the holiday music. "The story was different," she added.

"It was a good show," agreed Ralph Pickett, who recently stepped down from his long-time post as president of the Mount Airy 55 Plus Club.

The visit was one of the local child-care program's monthly community service projects, explained Mrs. Reifsnider.

The YMCA child-care program is open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:05 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the cafeteria of Mount Airy Elementary. She said the program is open on some holidays and other days when school is not in session -- such as Dec. 27, 28 and 29 next week.

A full-time program is also offered during the school system's summer vacation. Full- and part-time participants who attend Mount Airy Elementary School are eligible for the program. For information, call (301) 829-9386.

*

Eleven pages of news and articles written by students at Mount Airy Middle School turned over a $240 profit that will make a Merry Christmas for a mother in need and her five young children.

Copies of the holiday edition of the MAMS Times cost 25 cents and were sold during the lunch period, said language arts teacher Beverly Hawkins. "A lot of our money came from donations," she added.

The young news staff included a horoscope and profiles of two mystery students and two mystery staff members. Principal Larry Barnes also contributed a holiday message, said Mrs. Hawkins.

Students who worked on the holiday newspaper had the opportunity to shop for the local less fortunate family that was found with the help of the Mount Airy Area Jaycees, said Beverly Hawkins.

Mrs. Hawkins said two middle school journalists were assigned to shop for each child with a $50 budget per child. Purchasing clothing for the children was a priority and the pair shopping for the family's twin babies was allotted $65, she said.

The generosity of several people who assisted the MAMS Times staff with the good news project helped with its success. Technical assistance came from parents Jean Oberst, who donated her computer skills, and Bob Henneberry, who helped with the newspaper's production and chauffeured the student Santa's helpers when they delivered the bounty of presents to the adopted family Dec. 21.

*

Tickets are going, going and will soon be gone for the New Year's Eve Dinner Dance at the Mount Airy Firemen's Activity Building at Twin Arch Road and Route 27.

The event will feature a dinner of baked ham, meatballs and lasagna, prepared by the fire company's auxiliary, at 7:30 p.m. The adult dance, featuring new country music by Young Guns, will follow from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Tickets cost $22 per person and include the dinner, dance, set-ups, beer, party favors and a late night snack of coffee and doughnuts.

Fire company member Susan Hubble reports that more than 200 tickets were sold as of Dec. 21, with about 50 tickets left to sell. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Mount Airy Fire Co. For ticket information, call (301) 829-2868.

*

A thought came to me when I was baking cookies, wrapping packages and mentally composing this column -- all at the same time.

I decided that getting ready for Christmas each year was like cramming for an annual final exam.

We often leave things until the last minute, stay up late, put a lot of effort into preparation once we get started, pray that we don't forget anything, and hope for the best when the "final" hour draws near.

Here's hoping that the true spirit of the Advent season brings peace and happiness to your holiday celebrations. Merry Christmas!

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