Christmas party offers pounds of fun, donations

HARRINGTON — A sold out party helped raise more than $3,250 for the Harrington Food Pantry Saturday night.

The annual city of Harrington Christmas Party was open to employees of the city, their families, local business owners and city council and committee members.

“I believe the party went off well and everyone had a wonderful time,” Council member Amy Minner said of the event she helped organize. “Over the last four years, the attendance has grown so much that we were sold out this year. That says a lot. It makes me feel like we are doing something right in our community.”

 

The party went over so well, in fact, that the Harrington Raceway and Casino has already been asked to book the event for 2017, she added.

Even Harrington’s Mayor got in on the party action by naming himself the “Jenga Champion.” His record for the night might agree with his proclamation.

The annual tabletop Jenga game, created with blocks much larger than the classic version, was a popular spot for those seeking out a challenge.

Others, like Harrington’s Vice Mayor Duane E. Bivans, found a good challenge in the “wrapping paper game,” another favorite for the local.

The object of the game? To unwrap a gift while wearing oven mitts. Die were passed around the table to make the game interesting. Anyone who threw doubles was then passed the oven mitts and the gift to give it a try. Whoever opened the gift successfully was the one to keep the prize it held inside.

The evening was topped off by Bingo and a catered meal.

“Isn’t it just nice,” Carol Kalinofski asked. “It’s always a fun time and the people are just great.”

Ms. Kalinofski volunteers with the food pantry and helps the organization supply hundreds of meals each month to needy families.

The money donated to the pantry through the Saturday night event will go much further than many can even imagine, she said.

“I can pay twenty-five cents for your seventy-five cents when I have to buy food. Not only that, but through the generosity of others, we can purchase more of our necessities now. For example, now we offer self-stable milk. We used to give families cereal but no milk. That just hurt my heart,” she explained.

Harrington Mayor Anthony Moyer said the donations will help provide more than 20,000 pounds of food for the local pantry.

“I just want to express my thanks and gratitude to all the people that make it possible. The Christmas Club members, Harrington Raceway and Casino CEO Patti Key and her crew at the casino, Bill DiMondi… Everything they did was just short of a miracle for them putting it together,” Mayor Moyer said.

“The Christmas Club worked very, very hard to make it all possible. I have it real easy. All I have to do is steer. They put it together. And Amy Minner is the shining star in that crew, but they all work just as hard. I think it’s great what they do. It makes me happy to be the mayor; it really does. It makes me proud.”

Members of the Christmas Club, a group organized from dedicated city council members, city employees and other interested volunteers, thought another shining star should also be recognized.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the Harrington Raceway and Casino who donated the room to us for free and gave us a discount on the food,” Ms. Minner said.

Council member Eric Marquis chimed in later with accolades for the mayor himself.

“There’s one person that, four years ago, made this what it is today and without him, this wouldn’t be possible: Tony Moyer,” Mr. Marquis said.

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