Area children and their families are invited to Preview to Christmas 2014, an afternoon of family fun at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien on Sunday, December 7, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Iva Mulhern, event co-chair, said, "The theme for this year, A Tribute to Christmas Past, coincides with the 50th year that this event has been held, as well as our last Preview at the current location before Crossing Rivers Health relocates to its new medical center opening in the summer of 2015. We are taking a walk through history and naming the activity stations after previous events."
Preview to Christmas is a fundraising community family event, one of the highlights each year sponsored by Partners. It is a fun-filled atmosphere for children with hands-on activities, games and refreshments. There is no admission cost, although there is a small charge to participate at some of the stations. All proceeds help Partners fund their projects and equipment purchases to contribute to the health and quality of life in our communities.
Samantha Donahue, co-chair, adds, “As children enter the hospital’s main entrance, they will be greeted at the Pirate’s Welcome Cove, taken from the theme from 2006 event, and receive a welcome bag. Each family will be given a program containing a map to help them design their plan for an afternoon of fun.”
There will be refreshments at Candy Land Refreshments, taken from the 2010 theme, and the children will be creating their own make and take project at The Fairy Tale Forest, taken from the 2012 event. Children will also enjoy being part of the Rehab Rocking Ride adapted from the 1987 theme; testing their skill at the Arctic Christmas Snowball Toss, from the 2011 theme; and Feed the Elephant game adapted from the 3 Ring Circus theme of 2004. Children will also enjoy checking-out the Stocking Stuffer Christmas Tattoos, a theme from 1998. For minimum donations, children will be able to shop for two gifts at Christmas Treasures Children’s Store- taken from the 1990 event theme.
Samantha Donahue adds, “Families are encouraged to bring their camera to capture the excitement of the afternoon. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there, as well as Mrs. Pockets. The Hospital Cafeteria will be transformed into the Barnyard, a spin from Christmas Down on the Farm in 2008, offering a $3.50 ‘barn box’ meal of chicken nuggets, carrots and dip, chex mix, chocolate shakes and suckers. Chances for the Children’s Drawings will be available. The Gingerbread House will also be a favorite stop for the little ones, where they can decorate their own cookies. The gingerbread theme was in 1997.”
Children are reminded to bring their letters to Santa addressed to the North Pole. Santa’s elves have placed a mail box at Crossing Rivers Health for the little ones to mail their letters. If they haven’t written that important letter, children will have help to write their messages with the cowhands at the Wild West Christmas Letters to Santa. The Wild West Christmas was held in 2005.
There will be fresh baked holiday treats at the Starlight Bakery in the front entrance of the hospital offering a selection of goodies to help with holiday entertaining, as well as handmade dish rags for purchase. Starlight Preview was the theme from 2000. The gift of love can also be shared with a donation through the Season of Lights and the Walk of Stars.
A raffle is another tradition and popular component of the Preview. Area businesses and individuals have generously donated prizes for this fundraiser, including handcrafted items, cash, gift certificates, gift boxes, and holiday decorations. The display case in the hospital’s front entrance showcases the raffle prizes and recognizes the donors. Raffle tickets are available from Partners, hospital employees and at the hospital reception desk. The raffle drawing will be held at 2:30 p.m. during the Preview followed by a 50-50 Drawing.
The theme was suggested by Crossing Rivers Health staff members Laurie Fritz, Diane Koth, and Gabriel Oosthuysen, earning them the role of Honorary Co-Chairs.
Pictured: Event co-chairs and honorary chairs from left: Iva Mulhern, Diane Koth, Gabriel Oosthuysen, Laurie Fritz, and Samantha Donahue.