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Cortland Acres celebrates holidays with tree lighting


Residents, family, and friends of Cortland Acres gathered to celebrate the meaning of the Christmas season with readings and carols before lighting the star and tree.

The annual holiday event raised more than $4,600 for the Friends of Cortland Acres held on Wednesday, Dec. 7. The funds help pay for many special projects for the residents throughout the year.


After a heartfelt welcome by Cortland Acres Activity Director Marie Grafton, Rinda Bonner narrated a Christmas story called “There is a Kid in my Food.” Residents and staff, who brought the play to life, included: Helen Roth as the sheep, Tom Lambert as the cow, Robert Stemple as the innkeeper, DeWayne McElwee as the donkey, and Tori Hansrote of the activity department as the “live cow.”


Making their musical debut after a two-year break, several members of the Tucker Community Chorus entertained the crowd and filled the dining room with Christmas carols. Some of the melodies performed were “Sleep in Heavenly Peace,” “Children, Go Where I Send Thee,” and “Go Now in Peace.”


Mary Swisher and Patty Parsons then took turns reading the names of those who donated month toward the Tree Lights in memory of, or honor of a loved one. As Nancy Zizunas read the names of the special star light honorees, volunteer Kay Flanagan of the Friends of Cortland Acres turned lights on one at a time.


Next, resident Roseann Messer threw the switch to turn on the outside tree lights while the gathered crowd inside sang, “Come On Ring Those Bells.”


Thelma Knotts, vice president of the resident council, drew the winning name for the handmade diamond dot painting, won by Patty Stukey.