Consider Helping Collect Food & Donations at Park
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Each year, Paducah Power System sponsors a magnificent display of Christmas lights in Paducah's Noble Park. Christmas in the Park began in 1997 with lights donated by JF "Doc" Hicks and Jimmy Kinsey. Both men had displays at their homes for many years. Over the years, PPS has purchased many new displays and added several from corporate sponsors, and now, a half million twinkling bulbs illuminate the park between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day each holiday season. Thousands of people visit the event, making it a holiday favorite for people of all ages.
During Christmas in the Park, PPS employees and community volunteers man the Santa House at the park, collecting donations of money and nonperishable food for area helping agencies. As of 2011, Christmas in the Park had generated $421,000 and 486,000 pounds of food for local food pantries. All donations from Christmas in the Park activities go to Paducah Cooperative Ministry, Family Service Society and the Salvation Army.
In recent years, a significant portion of the proceeds have come from the annual Stuff the Truck drive involving Lourdes and Western Baptist Hospitals and the School Challenge. During Stuff the Truck, employees at both hospitals and the general public work for two days to stuff a semi trailer full of canned and dry goods. During the School Challenge, schools in Paducah/McCracken County compete against each other by collecting canned goods. The school that collects the most pounds of food per student wins $1,000. Both events typically generate more than 35,000 pounds of food.
If you have a business, civic group, church or school organization of four or more persons and wish to volunteer as a host at the Santa house, contact Cindy James at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-575-4000.