Last Christmas

By on December 3, 2014

‘Merry Lititz Christmas’ will be under new management in 2015

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be escorted by fire truck through downtown Lititz this Saturday. They will visit with kids at Lititz El from 10:30 to 3.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be escorted by fire truck through downtown Lititz this Saturday. They will visit with kids at Lititz El from 10:30 to 3.

Kathy Blankenbiller has poured her heart into organizing the “Have Yourself a Merry Lititz Christmas” since its inception six years ago.

She credits the overwhelming success of the holiday event catered to the 10-and-under crowd, to the generous spirit of the citizens of Lititz.

“The Lititz community is always so giving, so very generous,” Blankenbiller said. “It is because of the wonderful Lititz people that ‘Have Yourself a Merry Lititz Christmas’ took hold and has grown a bit with each passing year. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart; God bless them all.”

Blankenbiller’s praise, however, was given to soften the blow of some discouraging news.

“This is my ‘swan song’ as far as heading up this event,” Blankenbiller announced. “There comes a time when you know that new, young ideas need to be sought out, when you know it’s time to hand over the reins.”

Eager, young blood has been found in the form of Sarah Hummer.

Hummer, a 2001 Warwick grad, has called Lititz home for 16 years. She currently serves as vice president of Moms Club of Lititz, is a pre-K and nursery volunteer at Lititz United Methodist Church, and actively participates and volunteers at her son’s preschool, Owl Hill Learning Center.

“She’s a wonderful lady,” Blankenbiller said of Hummer, “very knowledgeable about event planning and most importantly, it is what she feels in her heart about children that makes her the right choice to take over what is so very precious to me.”

Hummer and husband, Derek, who reside on Owl Hill Road, are parents to four-year-old Derek Jr. and two-month-old Corina.

“When Kathy mentioned she was looking to step down, I jumped at the chance to contribute more,” said Hummer. “My family loves Christmas, especially my four-year-old. Through the Moms Club of Lititz, we have become very social and involved in their community projects. This gives us a chance to do more in Lititz on behalf of our family.”

Sarah has a very clear vision for the future of the “Merry Lititz Christmas” event.

“I would love to expand the event out into town even more than it already is,” Hummer said. “I would love to have more of a variety of free stuff for the kids and Christmas entertainment. Of course everything in the event is provided by donation only. There are no profits, and all funds are used to provide more great free kid stuff every year. Remember, the event brings people to our ‘cool’ town, and serves as free advertising for participants and sponsors.”

Right now, the most urgent need is children’s books.

“We need books every year,” Hummer said, “gently used or new books for kids. Since every child gets a free book at ‘Merry Lititz Christmas,’ this is one of the largest donations needed. Check at garage sales, library book sales, and dig up old books your child has tired of in your home.”

Hummer is also aiming for more community involvement in the event.

“I’d love to get more clubs and businesses around town to donate, and/or volunteer manpower and time to the event,” Hummer said. “We also will be collecting various freebies for the kids all year round, as this is what the event is really about. ‘Merry Lititz Christmas’ captures the spirit of giving back to the community, especially the children.”

Any interested volunteers, clubs, or donors should contact Sarah Hummer at sarjade83@outlook.com. She is already making plans for next December.

“I feel comfortable and thankful that God sent me just the right person to take over,” Blankenbiller said. “I ask you to support her, reach out to her and embrace her as you have me these six years.”

“Have Yourself a Merry Lititz Christmas” will be held this Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Lititz. Detailed schedules can be found on pages A4 and A5 of this edition.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4452

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