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Two of the Royal Valley High School seniors shown above will be chosen as homecoming king and queen before the school’s football game against McLouth on Friday, Sept. 26. King candidates are (seated, from left) Chance Ogden, Patrick Broxterman and Matthew Bailey. Queen candidates are (from left) Lydia Johnson, Brennah Wahweotten and Leslie Schuetz. The crowning will take place 6:40 p.m. before the game. (Photo by Ali Holcomb)

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Two of the Royal Valley High School seniors shown above will be chosen as homecoming king and queen before the school’s football game against McLouth on Friday, Sept. 26. King candidates are (seated, from left) Chance Ogden, Patrick Broxterman and Matthew Bailey. Queen candidates are (from left) Lydia Johnson, Brennah Wahweotten and Leslie Schuetz. The crowning will take place 6:40 p.m. before the game. (Photo by Ali Holcomb)

Kansas State return specialist and wide receiver Tyler Lockett (shown above, back left) looks for some real estate on a punt return while teammates Elijah Lee (back right) and Kody Cook (front middle) get out in front to clear a path for him in the second half of Thursday's primetime match-up with Auburn. Lockett had some big returns on the night, but the kicking game and other mistakes proved costly in the upset bid, allowing the Tigers to leave Manhattan with a 20-14 victory.

The indoor swimming pool at the Zwonitzer Health and Fitness Center and Hornets Nest Sports Club at Netawaka was a major attraction during the Netawaka Street Fair Saturday afternoon for swimmers and aqua-aerobics participants of all ages. Gary Zibell of rural Holton, shown above at left, enjoyed the pool with his daughter, Kylie Boyd of Garden City, and his granddaughter, Madyn Boyd. (Photo by David Powls)

Grammy-award winning jazz trumpeter and Holton native Jim Seeley made his third headlining appearance at Saturday’s “Jazz on the Square” event on Holton’s Town Square. Cool temperatures drew sizable crowds to the Square that afternoon and evening for cool jazz, food, beverages and shopping. (Photo by Brian Sanders)

JCMA Christmas Bureau seeks donations for 2014 event

By Brian Sanders

Christmas may be three months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about helping out those less fortunate during the holiday season, and the Jackson County Ministerial Alliance Christmas Bureau is challenging local businesses, churches and organizations to donate to this year’s event now.

JCMA leaders are looking for certain items that will go into an “essential bag,” containing hygiene and cleaning products, according to JCMA representative Shirley Pool. But this year, the ministerial alliance is asking businesses, churches and organizations to fill the bags themselves.

The “essential bags” will be distributed to families in need at this year’s Christmas Store, which Pool said has been scheduled for Friday, Dec. 12 at Evangel United Methodist Church. Bag donations are being sought by Monday, Dec. 1, and bag drop-off locations will be announced at a later date, she added.

This year, however, Pool said one reason for the challenge to businesses and others stems from the lack of a donation from the United Way of Greater Topeka toward this year’s Christmas store.

“We’re down on donations this year,” she said. “So we need all the help we can get.”

The “essential bag” is given to each qualifying applicant participating in the Christmas Store, it was reported. Typically, less than half of what is needed gets donated, and after taking an inventory of donations, a committee uses JCMA funds to purchase items needed to fill the number of bags required to the number of participants.

This year, Pool said, JCMA would like to have filled bags donated toward the Christmas Store, with a goal of 250 filled bags. Each bag should contain laundry soap, dryer sheets, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, bath soap, hand soap, toilet paper, razors, deodorant, tissues such as Kleenex or Puffs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a kitchen dishcloth and a kitchen towel.

The brand of each item does not matter, and additions are welcome if there is room in the bag. Also, all bags from one business, church or organization do not need to match or have the exact same contents.

Last year, the Christmas Store handled 200 applications for families in need during the holiday season, it was reported. The event helped 695 individuals, including 69 senior citizens and 368 children.

This year, Terri Robbins is the contact person for the Christmas Store and may be contacted at 364-4687. When contacting Robbins, Pool said, donors should ask how many bags are needed at that point.

The Christmas Store helps people of all ages, it was reported, and senior and disabled citizens are no exception. The event has been expanded in recent years to serve not only children and families, but also the elderly and disabled.


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