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Santa’s Village marks its 20th year of being True Santa’s Helper

Published (Volume 77, No. 13)

Seven service agencies will benefit from Santa’s Village, which is celebrating its 20th year of providing the sights, sounds and fun of Christmas while collecting canned goods and toys so that more residents will be able to enjoy the holidays. Last year, the service agencies assisted 6,000 people at holiday time.

Community leaders, sponsor representatives and other supporters attended the recent annual Santa’s Village luncheon for a preview of this year’s event.

“This is always a heartwarming and wonderful opportunity to bring you together so you can get a better idea of the massive undertaking that Santa’s Village has become and how many folks are involved,” said Dennis Suiter, director of Martin Parks and Recreation Department, told the crowd. Suiter thanked all the organizations represented for their efforts. “Everybody in this room plays some integral role.”

The service agencies benefiting from Santa’s Village will be Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council, We Care Ministries Inc., Chimes for Charity, Young Men’s Business Club, Obion County Chapter of American Red Cross, Healthy Start and newcomer, Santa’s Helpers.

The holiday fantasyland is staged each year at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex at the University of Tennessee at Martin. “A Christmas Village” is the theme for Santa’s Village which is slated for Dec. 9 and 10 from 6-9 p.m.; Dec. 11 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Dec. 12 from 1-5 p.m. Co-sponsors with Martin Parks and Recreation Department are C.E. Weldon Public Library and UT Martin.

Suiter was honored at the luncheon with this year’s Friends of Community Action Award from the Tennessee Association of Community Action. The award was presented by Rick Workman, Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council special projects director, following Suiter’s selection at the state association’s annual meeting in October in Nashville.

For more information about Santa’s Village, contact Martin Parks and Recreation Department at 731-587-6784.