KHA seeks donations for Christmas party

William B. Carroll

The Keep Hope Alive organization will host its annual Christmas Party at 1 p.m. Dec. 12 at St. Paul Baptist Church, located at the corner of Center and 5th Street in West Point.
KHA Chairwoman Pat Quinn said that this year’s theme is “God’s Grace Keeps Hope Alive.”
Quinn said the original idea for Keep Hope Alive came from Willie “Gator Johnson in 1994.
“Gator was an inmate at the Clay County Jail in 1994,” she said. “He wanted to give back to the community, especially to those kids of incarcerated parents.”
While the event originally was started to give back to kids of incarcerated parents, Quinn said the event has expanded to include all of the community’s children. She also said that the group has gotten together every year since then, though there had been a few years where they didn’t have the party.
“We put on a program and try to give the children gift cards,” Quinn said. “We try to give out as many gifts as possible and try to make sure every child has something in their hands.”
Quinn said that $25, $50 and $100 gift cards are given out at the event.
Quinn said entertainment will be provided by Pastor R.J. Matthews of the King Vision Church and that the program will also include performances by area children. Music will be provided by Rhonda King, there will also be a mime team performance and Pastor Al Latham will also offer a presentation.
Wendell Bennett will be opening the program, a role he said he has been doing since 1994. Bennett said he will also be involved in preparing the program as he is very involved in the production.
Nancy Louise Tate, who is Gator Johnson’s mother said she will also be participating in the event this year, after missing last year’s event. Tate said she will be lighting a candle in memory of Johnson.
See more details in Sunday's Daily Times Leader.