Durham plans annual gathering
The annual Christmas gathering in Durham will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.
Festivities include horse-drawn tram rides and refreshments of hot dogs, cookies, apple cider and more served in the downtown community building.
Christmas sacks will be distributed to children.
Goessel to sponsor blood drive Dec. 21
Goessel is hosting a blood drive for the American Red Cross from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, at Goessel Mennonite Church, 109 S. Church St.
?During this holiday season, what better gift than to give blood and save lives,? said Bev Kerbs of Emporia, the American Red Cross donor recruitment representative for Marion County.
?Whether a first-time donor or someone who gives on a regular basis, maintaining an adequate blood supply is critical to our community,? she said.
A blood donor card, driver?s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be 17 years old.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-448-3543 or visit bloodisneeded.org.
Candle-lighting for children Dec. 14
The Marion County Compas?sionate Families group will hold a candle-light remembrance ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at the Marion Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, located at Lawrence at Elm streets.
Compassionate Families is a support group for families who have experienced the death of a child. All who want to honor a deceased child of any age are welcome to participate.
For more information, contact Thad or Janie Meierhoff at 620-382-3492.
This year the Marion County observance will not coincide with the Worldwide Compassion?ate Friends Candle Lighting. It will be Sunday, Dec. 13, which is National Children?s Memorial Day.
For the worldwide candle lighting, candles are lit for one hour at 7 p.m. local time, starting in New Zealand and continuing around the world.
Alexanderwohl Youth Choir to sing
The Alexanderwohl Youth Choir will perform carols at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, in the historic church on the Tabor College campus.
The event is open to everyone. Cookies and refreshments will be served.
For more information, call Bonnie Ensz, 620-947-5727.
?Night in the Barn? set for Dec. 19-20
The annual ?Night in the Barn? living nativity event by the youth group of Tabor Mennonite Church is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20 at the farm of Maynard Knepp and Carol Duerksen, located between Goessel and Hillsboro.
This year?s come-and-go program will feature the story of the innkeeper?s wife as well as the usual menagerie of animals that make the unique event a growing tradition for hundreds of people.
Christmas carols around a bonfire, hot drinks and sales of a youth group cookbook will also be available.
For more information, call 620-367-8432 or 620-386-0709 prior to the event.
Directions to the farm: from Goessel, 3 miles north, 4 east, ? north; from Hillsboro, 4 miles south on Indigo, 3 west, ? north.
Support group to meet Dec. 19
The Marion County Dementia Support Group will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, in the chapel at Salem Home in Hillsboro.
Facilitators for the evening are Esther Pankratz and Sharon Ressler. Time for sharing will be offered at the end of the meeting.
The support group is for families and caregivers of dementia patients. For more information, contact Hillsboro Community Hospital, 620-947-3114.
Harvey-Marion CDDO meeting set
The Harvey-Marion County Community Developmental Disability Organization Board of Directors will meet at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, for its regular monthly meeting.
The meetings are held in the commission room at the Harvey County Courthouse, 800 N. Main St., Newton.
Time will also be set aside for a public forum, according to Elizabeth Schmidt, executive director of the Harvey-Marion County CDDO.
Homeless shelter, arboretum partner
The Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston is hosting the final luminary walk of the season from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12.
More than 1,000 candles will light the path, and thousands of electrical lights will outline the architecture of the gardens in winter.
Nativity scenes inside the visitor center loaned by local collectors will be on display.
?The nativity scenes are so appropriate to our partnership with the Harvey County Homeless Shelter this year,? said Julie Torseth, director of the arboretum.
?Finding no room at the inn and being homeless evoke the same sense of ?aloneness.? A portion of the luminary walk proceeds will go to support the work of the homeless shelter, which provides warmth and food in time of need, especially vital in this cold weather.?
For more information, call 620-327-8127.
Help offered for drug plan signup
The Marion County Depart?ment for Elderly is again offering to help seniors sign up for their 2010 prescription drug plans. Open enrollment ends Dec. 31.
Those who are not changing plans this year do not need to do anything. It is recommended that those who are planning to change their plan should enroll by the second week in December.
This will allow time for their Prescription Drug plan details to be uploaded correctly into Medicare?s system, according to Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator of the Marion County Department for Elderly, That way, when they fill a prescription in early January, the pharmacist will know which plan they?re in and what to charge them.
For more information or an appointment, call Ratzlaff at 620-382-3580. The office also offers a pamphlet for those who want to go online to enroll themselves in a plan.