NORTH ROYALTON – Though Christmas is months away, the city’s Office on Aging, Royalton Hills Lions Club and jolly ol’ St. Nick himself say the community can help make things merry and bright for neighbors in need by giving at their annual one-day Christmas in July red kettle event.
Like the actual holiday, this event is all about giving.
Each year proceeds are used through the city’s Salvation Army Unit to provide school-age youngsters with clothing vouchers to the Salvation Army store in Strongsville for back-to-school apparel; to purchase gift cards for new shoes; and to supplement Operation NR Cares, which provides school supplies to children whose families are in need.
Money is also used for those at risk of utility disconnections and provides short-term housing for the homeless.
Christmas in July is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 8 at Discount Drug Mart located at 5500 Wallings Road.
Festivities include a special visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, who have been enjoying a much needed siesta. Drug Mart is sponsoring the hotdog cookout, complete with chips and soda, available for a donation of any amount, Royalton Hills Lions members will be serving up Krispy Kreme doughnuts for purchase and there will also be a few games.
While guests take in the activities, members of Boy Scout Troop 218 will be ready and willing to scrub their cars to sparkling clean.
As always, every penny given stays right here in North Royalton.
Santa said it’s a worthy cause everyone should consider giving to. And, it will definitely land you on his nice list this year.
“Santa loves to stop by North Royalton before going on my annual summer vacation. Mrs. Claus and I are going on a tropical cruise, and then back to the North Pole to get ready for Christmas. I always appreciate it when some nice children bring me some cold water and cookies to help stay in my Christmas shape during the event. Most importantly, I love helping those here in town that are in need and that is the best gift we can give year round,” Claus said, played by Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw.
Lions member Donna Urban said contrary to popular belief, North Royalton does have families, particularly seniors, who are struggling to make ends meet and need any support the community can give.
“We have a lot of senior citizens that have had a lot of (utility) disconnects and are really struggling for money. They either pay for their prescriptions or the electric bill, one or the other. Everyone thinks Royalton is rich people but it’s really not,” she said. “We have families with single parents and this helps them too, the kids. This money goes to very good use. This is what Christmas is all about.”