Grinchmas Party to benefit Project Grinch Dust

Grinchmas Party to benefit Project Grinch Dust

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Santa’s not the only one coming to town. On Saturday, Dec. 3, Santa, the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who will make spirits bright at the Grinchmas Party in Sugarcreek. The luncheon party will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ragtown Coop event center, located at 8600 Crooked Run Road SW.

The lunch is a new fundraiser for Project Grinch Dust, a nonprofit organization originally founded to bring Christmas gifts to all the children at the Friends of the Homeless shelter in New Philadelphia. Since then the organization has grown to now provide gifts for children staying at domestic violence shelters in New Philadelphia and Coshocton and local families in need.

Tickets to the Grinchmas Party are $20 per person, which includes a catered lunch and a professional photo with Santa and the Grinch, courtesy of Ramona Mae Photography. Children who are registered to attend by Nov. 24 also are guaranteed a custom holiday cup and participation in craft and cookie decorating stations.

Registration can be made on the Project Grinch Dust Facebook page under the event or by calling or texting 330-737-1369. Funds raised by attendance at the party will help continue the organization’s mission of bringing the magic of Christmas to children of families in need.

Ashley Bryant is a partner with Kim Fincher, who founded PGD 12 years ago. A single mother at the time, Fincher found an envelope of money in her mailbox left by an anonymous donor who told her to use the funds for Christmas gifts for her daughter.

“She said she was going to pay it forward, and she did,” Bryant said. “The first year they bought each child at the Friends of the Homeless shelter a Nintendo gaming system.”

Bryant said the organization has grown significantly since its early years. “Now we provide gifts for children at the homeless shelter, as well as Harbor House, the domestic violence center in Carrollton and local families in need.”

Bryant said PGD also has branched out beyond the Christmas holiday to provide Easter baskets and back-to-school supplies to area children.

“We give them clothes, tennis shoes and a book bag filled with the supplies they need for their specific classroom,” Bryant said. “This year I believe we were able to help 57 students.”

Big-hearted gifts

Unlike the Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, PGD is generous with its gifts. “Every child gets to make a wish list, and then we shop for them,” Bryant said. “Last year we gave to 62 children. Each child typically receives one large toy valued at up to $100, a smaller item that costs about $30, two outfits and either a coat or a pair of shoes.”

In addition to the Grinchmas Party, those wishing to help can participate in the annual quarter auction. Donations of gift baskets, gift certificates, cards and other items are always needed. Attending the quarter auction also provides funds to PGD.

“We also have a raffle that we do every year,” Bryant said. “It’s a $5 donation to get into the raffle, and there are eight different cash prizes ranging from $50-$1,000. We let the children we help draw the winning tickets during the Christmas party we hold for them.”

Bryant also credits the many local companies and organizations that sponsor PGD, the primary sponsors being the Dover-Phila Federal Credit Union, Dover Exchange Club, Troyer and Association CPA, New Philadelphia VFW Post 1445, Archer Sign, TMK Valley Propane, and Berner Trucking.

In the words of Fincher, “Life works like an echo: The more we do to help and support others, the more joy and fulfillment we get out of our own lives. You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”