Ron Schmidt is the project director at the Voluntary Action Center in Columbia. He last contributed to the From Readers section after the VAC's Spring Into Action event in May.
Over 300 people gathered at Missouri United Methodist Church on Thursday, July 12, for the Voluntary Action Center’s 21st annual Christmas in July Picnic, which was sponsored by Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy this year. Started in 1992, Christmas in July annually:
- provides a Christmas-themed picnic for low-income families and a visit from Santa Claus himself, who distributes gifts to the children in attendance;
- increases community awareness that there are needs all year long – not just during the holidays; and
- raises funds to help VAC provide basic needs and emergency services for Boone County’s low-income citizens.
In addition, Boone Hospital Center provided free health screenings through the Know Your Numbers mobile health unit. This vehicle travels the community providing health screenings with real results. Knowing your numbers equals a healthier you and a healthier mid-Missouri.
The community can still support this important fundraiser by purchasing raffle tickets until Friday, July 27. The ticket donation is $10 per ticket or $75 for ten. For each tax-deductible ticket purchased by July 27, the donor’s name will be entered in a drawing for some great prizes.
“The spirit of Christmas is expressed through our services year-round,” said Nick Foster, VAC executive director. “That spirit is needed now as much as ever, with many families struggling through some hard times.”
Thanks to all the donors who made this event possible, including Gerbes, Hy-Vee, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, Bread Basket Café, Jack’s Gourmet Restaurant, Columbia Entertainment Company, Forum Theaters, B&B Bagel Company, G&D Steakhouse, HuHot Mongolian Grill, Jimmy’s Steakhouse, McAlister's Deli, Missouri State Parks, Hawthorn Bank, The Bukowsky Law Firm, A.L. Gustin Golf Course, and PGA Professional Shawn Deaver!
Very special thanks to Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy, Suzanne McDavid, Missouri United Methodist Church, and United Methodist Women. Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy's Presenting Sponsorship helped make this year’s Christmas in July one of the most successful ever, which will in turn allow VAC to better meet the needs of its clients during these tough times. Suzanne McDavid (VAC Board member), Missouri United Methodist Church, and United Methodist Women took on most of the organization of the actual event, such as getting food donated, decorating the church, securing Santa, serving the food and cleaning up afterwards. Without their great help, there is no way this event would have run so smoothly.
To purchase raffle tickets, please contact the VAC office at 573-874-2273.
This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.