PDT Feature Writer
The Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center invite area residents to join in celebration of Christmas and the winter holiday season.
“This is our 25th year. We started out as the Festival of Trees, and proceeds from the annual event were used to build the Friends of SOMC Community Center.” said Tami Davis, Hollydays' general chairman. “The Friends of SOMC is a group of volunteers whose primary function is to raise money for SOMC.”
The organization begins the festivities with the Hollydays Gala, where Christmas items including artistically-decorated trees, wreaths, tall trees and centerpieces may be purchased.
“This is the start of the holiday season in the Portsmouth Area. Hollydays is a fundraiser for SOMC, and the proceeds from this year's events are going to buy telemetry monitors for use on the main campus,” Davis said. “During the gala, everyone has an opportunity to purchase everything that is on display.”
The opening night gala takes place Dec. 16.
The gala is a reservation-only, sit-down dinner. The event begins at six, and dinner is served at seven o'clock according to Davis. Music and dancing follow the dinner.
The following day features breakfast with Santa. Ticket cost is $5 per person.
“Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. is breakfast with Santa, and again at 10-11 a.m,” she said.
During the breakfast with Santa, children have the opportunity to give Santa their request and have their photo taken with him. Afterwards, the children may go play in funland.
Volunteers help prepare for the festival, Davis said.
“Hollydays is decorated by volunteers that donate their time. Nobody gets paid to do this, it is all volunteer,” said Rhonda Ballengee, Hollydays decorator chairman. “There's a huge committee, and everybody does their job.”
Additionally, Saturday morning will feature an exhibition and craft fair. The fair will be open in the LIFE Center gymnasium and admission is $2 per person.
“The public exhibition will open at 9 a.m. Nov. 17 and continue until 5 p.m.,” Davis said. “The exhibition continues 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday Nov. 18, with continuous entertainment on stage.”
Entertainment will be on stage at the Friend's Community Center, Davis said. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call (740) 356-7101.
SHAWN TYREE may be reached at email@example.com