Christmas Comes to Kenai arrives with much help

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Comes to Kenai was another wonderful event sponsored by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, and, as usual, we have many people to thank. You help make this day as special as it is.

The day starts off with many volunteers preparing for the arrival of Santa. Laurie Bookey, Lisa Strothers, Angela Peterkin and Natalia Johnson manned the hot cocoa donated by McDonald’s and handed out hundreds of cookies handmade by the Kenai Senior Citizens Center, with a hearty donation from Safeway, too.

Time for the elves to arrive, first was Madison Gifford then Girl Scout Troop 623 leader Barbara Shipps, arriving with her troop (Katherine Hinchman, Markayla Shipps, Taren Kuntz and Gabrielle Bragg). Thanks to Dana Woodard, Cassandra Williams, Harold Piland and the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center for opening their doors for Santa. Peterkin sent candy canes over for the tots, and Trish Thompson manned the chamber phone lines.

Santa arrives on the Kenai Fire Department fire engine to crowds of eager children. But the day has just begun for the chamber. Now it is time to prepare for the evening events. First the bonfire needs to be tuned up. Nelson Amen of Tesoro already has delivered pallets, then Leroy Heinrich and his grandson, Chris, round up a few more and prepare to light the bonfire. The Kenai police set up barricades in preparation for the sensational Electric Light Parade.

The Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions (Kirk Nickel, Jeannie Fauser, Dan and Lisa Kouf and Chet Soares) organized the parade. The Victorian Carolers led it while singing carols. Next was Alaska C&C Horse Adventures with Mayor Pat Porter and the queen of Kenai, Emily DeForest, and then the remaining parade entrants: Alyeska Tire, Atigun Equipment Inc., Charlie Transporting-Homes Depot, KSRM Inc., Petro Express, R&K Industrial, Snug Harbor Seafoods-Kenai Watershed Forum, American Legion Kenai Post No. 20, Girl Scouts (Nikiski troop 571 and 210), Kenai Peninsula College EMT and paramedic program, Kenai Peninsula Outdoors Club, Kenai Seniors Citizens Center, SOAR International Ministries Inc., Alaska Young Marines, Kenai Peninsula 4-H, Peninsula Winter Games and the Boys and Girls Club of Kenai Peninsula.

A few more to thank: Merrill Sikorski, Don Duncan and Tim Narvarre, and Unocal employees and XTO energy for sponsoring this event. Thank you and happy holidays.

Janie Odgers

Executive director

Kenai Chamber of Commerce

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