Safe Communities seeking teams for nonalcoholic Holiday Happy Hour event

Safe Communities seeking teams for nonalcoholic Holiday Happy Hour event

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It's time to get your inner party animal on, nonalcoholic style.

The annual Safe Communities Alcohol-free Holiday Happy Hour will take place Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Millersburg United Methodist Church, 5395 Township Road 336, just east of Millersburg.

Event organizer Beth McCready of Wayne-Holmes Safe Communities is currently putting out an all-point bulletin seeking groups to create a favorite nonalcoholic drink and prepare enough to give all of those who attend the event a chance to try them out.

“We would love to see as many teams join us as possible,” McCready said. “Groups can make their favorite drink, as long as it’s nonalcoholic, and make enough to share with a lot of people.”

Groups are asked to bring their drink and cups to serve them in, and they are invited to decorate their table (which will be provided) in any way that fits this year’s theme, “12 Days of Christmas.”

The event features teams from businesses, organizations and churches from all over the county. Each team will present a nonalcoholic beverage, and over the years the event has seen everything from hot and sweet to cold and tart and everything in between. The only thing that ties the beverages together is they are all without alcohol.

“It’s a really fun and entertaining evening for the whole family, and at the same time, it is touching because of the message we hope to spread in making smart decisions when attending gatherings over the holidays,” McCready said. “The nicest thing about this event is that it is wonderful for all ages. It's festive and friendly, and we have featured some awesome drinks over the past years that are very tasty and creative. And best of all, it is entirely free.”

Free drinks and appetizers, a chance to sit the little ones on Santa’s lap to make a Christmas request, and plenty of fellowship spice up this encounter, and many of the participating groups will have their themed tables decorated with Christmas cheer and snacks to go with their drinks.

According to McCready, Safe Communities is seeking any organization, business or church that would like to participate in the event. She said the more groups they have, the more it makes it enjoyable for those who attend, and the atmosphere gets even brighter and more filled with the joy of the holidays when more groups attend.

In addition, there will be raffles held throughout the evening, and patrons will have a chance to place their raffle tickets into whichever prize they’d hoped to win. Each year the proceeds from the raffle help benefit a local family in need in the process.

This year the proceeds will go to the family of John Blaine Palmer IV, age 18, who passed away Sept. 11, 2021, following a car accident. He was born Aug. 31, 2003, in Millersburg and was the son of John Blaine Palmer III and Barbara Jane Carpenter. He attended Ashland County West Holmes Career Center, where he was studying welding. He loved the outdoors, mushroom hunting, deer hunting and going fishing and cherished his time working in the garage with his dad.

“This is a chance for us to support a family in the community who is hurting,” McCready said. "We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the drinks and festivities, but it is incredibly important to show our compassion for the family members and support them."

In sharing the holiday spirit and spreading Christmas joy, the message of creating a safe alcohol-free party continues as the theme, and even if someone attends a gathering where alcohol is served, the message of making sound decisions remains critical.

“What we promote never changes,” Todd Roberts of the Ohio State Patrol of Wooster said. “Make good decisions if you do drink. Always wear a safety belt and never get behind the wheel of a car after you’ve been drinking. Find a designated driver. Plan ahead to find a way home so you don’t find yourself in a position to drink and drive.”

“We look forward to this every year because it is fun and we believe in the message it promotes,” McCready said. “It's a great message for the holidays and for keeping people safe. We always have such a great time here, and it is fun for a great cause.”

Any business, organization or church group that would like to participate can do so by calling McCready at 330-641-3175 or emailing her at mccreadyb@anazaocommunitypartners.org.