More than a hundred people poured into the East Ridge Community Center just after noon on Saturday to have their children’s picture made with Santa and enjoy a nice lunch compliments of the Needy Child Fund.
Months of hard work paid off as more than 150 children and 55 families were the beneficiaries of the NCF and its scores of volunteers who helped make the day possible.
While the kids lined up to have their picture made with Santa (Brad Grant) by skilled photographer Harry Mackey, their parents pulled up to the old McBrien School where boxes prepared especially for individual families by volunteers throughout the past month were loaded into vehicles. Officials with the NCF said those boxes had wrapped gifts specifically for the children in the family. In addition, clothing and food, including a ham, were generously donated to make sure that each family enjoyed a Christmas dinner.
Mimi Lowrey, who took over running the NCF this year, said that more than $30,000 has been raised this year to help bring Christmas to less fortunate people in East Ridge. A substantial portion of the money was derived from money placed in a donation box on Helton Hill and manned by board members and volunteers throughout the Christmas season. The light display will be up and running and donations will be accepted through New Year’s Day, officials said.
The board of the Needy Child Fund extended its gratitude to more than a dozen primary donors including but not limited to:
Atlantic Capital Bank
Councilman Brian Williams
City of East Ridge – East Ridge City Hall
Delta Theta Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity UTC
Dollar General – 5707 Ringgold Road
E1 Body and Soul
East Ridge Optimist Club
Edgewood Baptist Church
City Councilwoman Esther Helton
Herman Scharder and the fabulous lights on Helton Hill
Jack and Linda Stone
Mission Oaks Neighborhood
Purple Heart Group
River City Corvette Club
Sharp Properties, LLC
The Crossing Church East Ridge
U-Haul – East Ridge and Hixson locations
Walmart, Chattanooga Greenway location
The non-profit organization, which this year received a 501 (c) (3) status, needs continued support from the citizens of East Ridge, officials said. The NCF will be accepting donations throughout the year in preparation for next Christmas. Keep up with the NCF through its Facebook page.