Saturday, December 13, 2014

Raymond tree lighting ushers in Christmas cheer - By Jim Beers

Last Sunday Raymond residents gathered at the Raymond Village Library for the annual Christmas tree lighting. Braving the chilly temps, about 150 people came out to revel in holiday cheer. The Raymond Elementary School chorus was all present and leading the large crowd in several Christmas carols, with hopes of seeing Santa by night's end.
The evening got started with a Christmas-themed story time inside the library, before moving outside for the tree lighting festivities. Raymond Village Library Director Sally Holt, in her third year, was overjoyed at the outpouring of "community" the evening displayed. "It's such a great way for the residents to gather, and the library is the perfect place fo
The Lions Club played a big role in helping the library put this night together. "We couldn't have done it without the Lions Club. They donated $200 to help us with the extra electricity the tree will use, and for large print books for the library. They also provided the refreshments for the evening, they are very special to us and we appreciate them a lot. I hope this tradition goes on forever," added Holt.

Raymond resident and Windham High School student-athlete Ryan Plummer, a junior, was on hand with his family and enjoying the night's events. "It's an awesome way to start the Christmas season. I was here singing just like them when I was in the elementary school chorus. Every year more and more of the community comes out for this, and to be here with my little brothers and family is real special," said Plummer.
After the singing of a few popular carols, the scene shifted to mingling and getting some refreshments. The cold was not a factor as the crowd's Christmas cheer provided the warmth for all. And as anticipation mounted, Santa made his appearance and the kids went wild at the sight of the jolly man in the bright red suit. Sitting down with each of them, he listened intently as they all gave their lists of wished-for presents. Of course they all had to answer if they had been naughty or nice as well. A very successful evening is just what the town was looking for and it couldn't have gone any better, prompting residents Mio Pichardo and Daryl Gurney to both exclaim, "great night for Raymond!". Let the Christmas season begin!

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