When the hole gets deep, we help each other to step up


Living in Montgomery for more than 18 years, I have grown used to certain community traditions: Torchlight Parade, Sharing Tree during the holidays; Masopust in the spring; and Kolacky Days in the summer.
When I first heard that Mobilize Montgomery was going to close, I asked myself, “What will happen to the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks? What about Kolacky Days? What about Masopust, the Sharing Tree ... etc. and all of the other events that Mobilize helped facilitate?” 
Without a doubt, the office’s closing left a huge hole in the community that I wasn’t sure would ever be filled. But when the hole got deep, it turns out Montgomery citizens helped each other to step out of it. This holiday season is an excellent example.
Take for instance the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. When Mobilize closed, the Montgomery Area Community Club, which organizes Kolacky Days, said they would facilitate one additional event. That was the winter parade. They asked for volunteers.  Boy did they receive them! Neaner and Don Kriha, Lynn and Gary Heinzig, Maureen Franek, Tony Jelinek, Anita and Chuck Rynda, Jake Keohen, Jean Franke and Ken Pavek have given up their personal time to meet and make this year’s event bigger and better than ever.
Other programs that were on the verge of extinction but will continue thanks to volunteers are:
• Veteran Tributes now being organized by the American Legion Club Post #79.
• The Sharing Tree now being organized by Aging Services for Communities.
• Santa Anonymous - Rita Picha, who has been doing this for years.
• Festival of Fun and Breakfast with Santa. This year, the Arts and Heritage Center is organizing it. Their list of events includes a Cookie and Holiday Goody Sale, and the Festival of Trees Display.
• Breakfast with Santa. The A & H is organizing this which will be on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the TCU High School Commons Area from 8 to 11 a.m.
• Flurry of Dance. The A&H is taking on this too. It will happen after the Breakfast with Santa from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the High School Commons area. 
• Home for the Holidays Expo. Remember when Montgomery had the Holiday Expo in the old Middle School? The A & H brings this back on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the wonderful High School Commons area.
•  The A &H Center is also sponsoring an author signing, Therese Dotray-Tulloch on December 13, and holiday music by Tim and Alvin Chlan on Thursday, Dec. 20.
Some things we won’t have this year, unfortunately, is the Medallion Hunt, the business and residential lighting contest, and the Christmas in Montgomery program.
At least all is not lost with some selfless people who are keeping some of Montgomery’s traditions alive. 

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