Making season bright

Third annual tree lighting held at Keyes- McRae Park


Christmas is a time that young and old look forward to, and some events lend more excitement to the season, such as the annual Christmas tree lighting at Keyes-McRae Park, in DeKalb, which took place at 5 p.m. this past Saturday.

The tree lighting ceremony is sponsored by Community First Kemper County, a small group of local residents who set out to do some things for the youth and elderly of the county, when they saw a need.

Katrina Grady stated that there was a very big turnout for the first tree lighting, two years ago, however, last year numbers were not quite as good due to the presence of the COVID pandemic, but they were hoping for better numbers this year. In conjunction with the tree lighting, Red's & Son Detail hosted pictures with Santa.

Grady said that Community First Kemper County is a small group of volunteers whose mission it is to reach out to the needs of the youth and elderly in the county. Their efforts began with a Fall Festival, which was a prelude to the first ever tree lighting, and was very successful.

Grady said that there are others things in mind, such as a reading program, but it takes time to get things off the ground.

The tree lighting ceremony is funded by the organization's volunteers with some help from the Kemper County Board of Supervisors. Grady added that fundraising efforts have been hampered by the pandemic, but hopefully things are beginning to ease up.

Due to the efforts of Grady and Community First Kemper County, residents can look with pride at their community tree as a reminder of the joyful and festive season that Christmas is meant to be.

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