Submitted by Cloe Jones.
Puyallup’s 15th Annual Community Christmas Concert was held Sunday night, at the South Hill Stake Center, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, bringing together nearly 900 local families, friends, government officials, and other community leaders, in an evening of uplifting holiday musical performances.
The concert featured musical selections by Covenant Children’s Choir, Interfaith Choir, Pierce College Concert Choir, PLUtonic, Puyallup H.S.Concert Choir, Rogers H.S. Vocal Ensemble, and the Tacoma Scots Pipe Band.
Kathryn Ward, Director and Organizer of the Community Christmas Concert, said of the event, “Music, especially choral music, brings people together. It bridges differences and has the power to heal, inspire, change and connect us.” Ward continues, “Christmas music in particular evokes powerful feelings and memories, and holds special meaning for many people. In an often-divided world, the Community Christmas Concert is a unifying event that connects us as a community, helping us focus on our commonalities instead of our differences.”
Along with the nearly one thousand friends and neighbors in the audience, many special Guests also attended the Community Christmas Concert (a full list of attendees can be found below). However, the holiday musical performances and honored special Guests were not the only shining stars at the show. Countless community members from Puyallup, South Hill, and the surrounding areas, arrived with arms full of turkeys, hams, canned foods, and cash donations, collected for The Salvation Army, to assist local families in need.
“Thank you, to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Puyallup, for hosting a food drive for The Salvation Army at their beautiful 15th Annual Community Christmas Concert, and to everyone who contributed more than *1000 lbs of food, gift cards, and financial assistance, which will help fill Christmas baskets.”1
Captain Kyna Kelley, of The Salvation Army, added, “My entire family left saying how they couldn’t wait to come back again next year. The Salvation Army is grateful to be a part of a community that shares the love of Christ, and willingly gives out of their own pockets to help those in need.”
In a world where there is much division and strife; where differences often take center stage, Puyallup’s annual Christmas concert brings light to the community and is a reminder – through unified musical messages of the Savior’s birth – that we are all blessed when we open our hearts, and reach out in love toward one another.
“We all need the strength that comes from relationships with other people and from music that touches our hearts.” – Kathryn Ward
Special Guests in attendance: Washington State Senator Hans Zeiger, Washington State Representatives Andrew Barkis, Chris Gildon, and Kelly Chambers, Pierce County Council Executive Bruce Dammeier, Puyallup City Councilmember Cyndy Jacobsen, Puyallup City Councilmember-elect Ned Witting, Puyallup School Board member Maddie Names, Acting President of Pacific Lutheran University Allan Belton, Office of the President of PLU, Assistant to the President Julie Mix, Office of the President of PLU Director of Administration & Secretary to the Board of Regents Vicky Winters, Pierce College President Darrell Cain, Restoration House Ministries NW Pastor Herman Akins, Executive Director of The Mel Korum YMCA Doris Swanson, and The Salvation Army – Puyallup Valley Corps Captains John and Kyna Kelley.
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*Edited to reflect updated donation totals
1 Facebook post from The Salvation Army Facebook page