Over 400 people attended the Second Annual New Melle Country Christmas celebration Nov. 25th. The event featured Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by fire truck for the official lighting of the Community Christmas Tree in front of New Melle Sports and Rec.
A community choir directed by Marilyn O’Neill sang carols. The New Melle Fire Dept. served hot chocolate and coffee. Sugar Creek Winery served mulled wine. Karrenbrock Const., Catala Facial Retreat, Fireside Bar and Grill, and Joerling Bros. Trucking together served free hot dogs and chilidogs. New Melle Dental served popcorn, Peoples Savings Bank helped the kids make reindeer food, Little Lamb Child Care and Learning Center served hot apple cider and Christmas cookies. The Boone Country 4-H Club served hot chocolate and lemonade and had “Minute to Win It” games for the kids to play.
Ages and Stages Learning Center donated the registration bags that each child received, plus the makings for S’mores (assembled by the Daniel Boone Elementary “Raccoons Giving Back” volunteers.) Also in the registration bags were items donated by other area businesses, including Edward Jones-Ben Waggoner, Little Lamb Child Care and Catala Facial Retreat and Spa.
Inside, children visited with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Great job Paul Reese and Janet Hespen!); wrote letters to Santa (sponsored by Short Stop’s) and mailed them in a special mailbox(which will be at the New Melle Post Office until Christmas) provided by Workhorse Construction; received treats from St. John’s UCC Mary and Martha’s Circle; watched an engaging magic show by Leland and Whiskers sponsored by Wind Ridge Farm; and got free balloons from Balloon Artist Deanna with Premier Entertainment (sponsored by Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.) The City of New Melle provided cookies and punch (served by Girl Scout Troop 2495,) Player 21 Sports manned a cookie decorating booth that was a huge hit. New this year was a photo booth provided with money donated by Grace Hauling.
Over 80 large teddy bears and a big box of small teddy bears, plus $450 cash, were collected for Teddy Bears for Trevor. Thank you to Overstock Outlet for donating bears that people could buy that evening and donate to the cause. Little Lamb Child Care and Learning Center donated elf costumes for the volunteers. 500 luminaries were prepared by the Boone Country 4H club, then placed and lit by NMSR Board and Blondin Realtors volunteers. Carla Skouby-Brakensiek, Erin Meyer, and Carol Kemper decorated the beautiful stage. Matt Joerling and Lamping Electric decorated our gorgeous, growing tree out front.
Committee member Maureen Blondin said, “New Melle has always been a very generous, hardworking community, and this event was another testimony to that. There were so many volunteers, and Kyle Shell and the NMSR board members were great!”
Kyle Shell, speaking on behalf of NMSR, said, “New Melle Sports was honored to help host the event. It was a team effort by many different folks and a great example of how working together makes our community better and stronger.”
Committee member Kate Reese from Short Stop’s thank everyone who helped plan, prepare and set up, everyone who came and enjoyed, and everyone who donated money, time and talents. “It’s such a great honor to work in this community where everyone knows your name. This event is so special to my heart because it lets me show my appreciation to all those who support all of our small businesses.”
The New Melle Chamber of Commerce and Country Christmas committee extends a special thank you to New Melle Sports and Rec for the use of their facility and all of their volunteers. Special thanks to Lamping Electric and Matt Joerling for decorating the tree; to Marilyn O’Neill for directing the choir; to Paul Reese (Santa), Janet Hespen-Fitness First Aerobics (Mrs. Claus), Cameron Reese (reindeer), Bill Tuepker (Stiltman), and Betty Tuepker and Boonie Soetebier (strolling Christmas Trees.) Other volunteers and sponsores included Donald & Elizabeth Hendrich, Wind Ridge Farm, Grace Hauling, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Glenda Herron, A&S Septic & Utilities, Judy Anderson, Little Lamb Child Care, Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique, Fireside Bar and Grill, Joerling Brothers Trucking, Karrenbrock Construction, Sugar Creek Winery and Vineyards, City of New Melle, New Melle Friendship Society, New Melle Dental, Ages & Stages Learning Center, Coach Chad Millard and Raccoons Giving Back volunteers, Porky Joerling Trucking/Tidd Realty, Paul Mittler, Karen Hotfelder, Boone Country 4-H Club, Brian Spencer, Short Stop’s, St. John’s UCC-Cappeln, IHM Knights of Columbus-Mike Reel, Equity Prime Mortgage, Peoples Savings Bank, Girl Scout Troop 2495, Boone Country Connection, Blondin Professional Real Estate; plus everyone who sang in the choir. and all those who volunteered and helped in any other way whatsoever.