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December 17, 2008|By ANNE WEATHERHOLT

Community comes together to help those in need

Yes, times are lean everywhere, and especially around Hancock where the margin of income is that much thinner.

There was a dramatic increase in the number of children who attended last Saturday's annual Christmas party hosted by the Greater Hancock Church Council.

Last year there were 17; this year there were 40.

But the kids had a great time, making a picture frame, listening to several Christmas stories, sitting on Santa's lap and taking home toys and home-baked Christmas cookies, all donated by members of several Hancock churches.

There was enough to "go around" so each child was able to leave with a little bit of Christmas.

The wonderful volunteers, organized by Debbie Murphy (wife of the mayor), also had a great time, seeing the expressions on the kids' faces.

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Thank you to the Rev. John Lesnick and St. Peter's Catholic Church for allowing the group to use the church's Parish Hall, and thank you to all the "elves" for making the party possible.

Christmas for Others

Friday is "Distribution Day" for Christmas for Others. This year, more than 80 households have signed up for this annual event, which includes gifts of food, coats and toys. Last year the count was 62 households, but the tight economy has hit local folks hard.

The local churches have led the way. Curves, the Hancock Rotary, the Hancock Lions and other clubs and businesses have all been more than generous in donating the toys and food that are now in the hands of the local volunteers at the community center.

They are packing it today, and beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, they will open the doors.

Volunteers are still needed to help, especially to deliver to those who are homebound or cannot make it to pick up their gifts. Call Linda Eney at 301-678-7601 to volunteer.

Christmas dinner

The Hancock Lions Club will host the annual community Christmas dinner Saturday. Serving hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the American Legion on East Main Street.

The menu includes a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings to eat in or take out.

If you have not yet made a reservation, call the town office at 301-678-5622 as the Lions need to know how many turkeys to roast.

The meal is free, a gift to the community from the Lions.

Next summer, when you smell the delectable tang of the barbequed chicken, you will know that the Lions are roaring on their way to next year's Christmas dinner and many other good works in the community.

Chorus concert

You may have missed the Hancock Middle Senior High School band students in concert for Christmas Wednesday. But there is still time to plan to hear the chorus students' seasonal performance today.

The program begins at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium and features vocalists in grades six through eight, under the direction of Shayna Warnick.

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