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Summer events planned to help Christmas fundraiser

SOUTH POINT — It may not be the start of summer yet, but already there are some in the county looking ahead and planning for a bright Christmas.

It’s the Young Professionals, part of the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, that late last fall took over the Secret Santa program at the last minute. In six weeks, the organization was able to help 411 children who might have been forgotten during the holidays have a brighter Christmas.

This year, the Young Professionals are getting a jump on the end-of-the-year holiday by planning a number of fundraisers, all to happen this summer.

“We are planning sort of a fundraising and awareness blitz for July, which would be Christmas in July,” said Casey Baker, one of the organizers of the group. “We have a few events in mind.”

Among them would be a mini golf scramble to be held at a local putt-putt course, instead of at a more costly regulation golf course.

“We would like to conserve resources to get as much to the kids,” Baker said.

Right now the YPs are looking for a course they could rent out with a tentative date of July 24 for the event.

“That will make it more family friendly,” he said.

The YPs also plan on recreating, for the night, the 1950s drive-in movie experience by taking over a space large enough for people to pull up in their cars and showing a movie on a large-size movie screen.

“Maybe we’ll show a Christmas movie,” Baker said.

Last year between funds raised by the Young Professionals, sponsorships and in-kind donations, $44,000 was raised. This Christmas the group wants to increase that to $50,000 to be spent on 500 children getting them not only toys and gifts, but winter coats, shoes and other clothing.

“The key is to stay active, stay visible in the community to let people know what is going on,” he said.

Also on tap is a cornhole tournament to precede the national championship tourney coming to Huntington, W.Va., in late summer.

“So Christmas in July may spill into August,” Baker said.