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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Events to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House

  • JOPLIN — Organizers with the 12th annual Gift of Light, Gift of Love – a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of the Four States, are gearing up for two events this week.
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  • JOPLIN — Organizers with the 12th annual Gift of Light, Gift of Love – a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of the Four States, are gearing up for two events this week.
    "We have the official tree lighting at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, that is when we kick off the Gift of Light, Gift of Love season with the tree lighting," said Tara Horinek, associate director of the house. "Then Saturday morning (doors open at 9 a.m., event begins at 9:30 a.m.), we will have our children's tree lighting and movie event."
    Both events will be held at the Regal Northstar Stadium 14 Theater, 201 Northpark Lane, Joplin.
    "All of the proceeds from the Gift of Light, Gift of Love go to benefit the families staying at Ronald McDonald House," she said. "It is a way to help those families who have to call us home."
    The events are open to everyone and on Saturday the private movie viewing will be at 10 a.m. Tickets for the movie event are $10 each and includes a snack pack. The tickets are available at Ronald McDonald House, 3402 S. Jackson St., Joplin and at the movie theater.
    For Thursday, spectators will be able to see the tree being lit for free.
    "Each year with that, we do our official tree lighting, we have a special dignitary each year who lights the tree, that is still in the works, we are working on confirmation," she said. "It is always the person who lights the tree has a significant tie to Ronald McDonald House or Ronald McDonald House Charities, they have made an impact over the years. We recognize them by giving them the honor of lighting our tree."
    For Saturday, they will be able to see the new movie "Free Birds."
    "It is the story of two turkeys from opposite sides of the track that team up and travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to get turkey off the menu, Horinek said. "We (will) also have the pardoning of the turkey during the tree lighting ceremony. We (will) not only be celebrating Christmas, but Thanksgiving this year. We have the season of giving this year, with the movie Thanksgiving related, Christmas trees, so we wanted to cover all of our holidays that fall during this time of the year."
    This is the Ronald McDonald's House largest fundraiser.
    "(The proceeds raised) it will operate the house for about three months," she said.
    There are various sponsorships available and information can be found by calling 624-2273.
    There is also another way people can help with raising funds for the house.
    "All of our past ornaments, we have our ornaments on sale out at Southside Antique Mall, at booth No. 55," she said. "So if people have seen the tree, had a theme that they liked, then we have gifts and ornaments… so that they can go find ornaments from past trees for their own tree."
    Page 2 of 2 - Horinek said the attendance during this event has been great.
    "We have outstanding attendance at both events," she said. "The Saturday morning event has become – for a lot of families in this area – a way to kick off their holiday season. We have had many in the community say that the Ronald McDonald House Gift of Light, Gift of Love children's tree lighting and movie event is their first holiday event of the season."

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