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Ford City to light up holidays

All of Shelby Klingensmith’s Christmas wishes are coming true early this year.

The 8-year-old Make-A-Wish child from Spring Church will be switching on the Christmas lights in Ford City and drawing the winning ticket for the Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 630 log cabin playhouse raffle to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation during the annual “Ford City Christmas Light Up” festivities on Ford Street on Saturday.

And she just underwent her last chemo treatment for her leukemia a little over a week ago.

Shelby says she thinks it’s cool to be able to give something back.

“I want to be nice to other people because people were nice to me,” Shelby said. “I never did anything like this before. It sounds really fun.”

Her mother, Cathee Klingensmith, said Shelby was thrilled when they told her what she would be doing for the Ford City Light Up.

“She wants to help everybody,” said Cathee. “They (Make-A-Wish) gave us that wonderful (Disney cruise) trip. We want to give back as much as possible. She thinks she’s a star now.”

Shelby knows the Venturing Crew and has attended the annual theme events that the Crew sponsors. She sold $500 in raffle tickets to help the Venturing Crew raise money for Make-A-Wish and will also accompany the Crew to the Monroeville Mall on December 18 for the Light-Up-A-Child’s Life Campaign.

“She has a lot of family,” Cathee said of Shelby’s selling so many tickets. “People know what Make-A-Wish has done for her. How can you say no to Make-A-Wish?”

The Ford City Christmas Light Up sponsored by the Ford City Area Business and Professional Association begins with Santa arriving by a Ford City Fire Department fire truck. Santa will be presented the key to the borough at the clock tower by borough officials.

Children can visit Santa in the first-floor window area of the Klingensmith Healthcare building (formerly Greenbaum building). Photos with Santa will be available at a nominal cost through Lerner Photography.

Children visiting Santa will receive a gift bag. Mrs. Claus will be with Santa this year along with her puppets to entertain the children.

Disc jockey Steve Hefner will be providing music and entertainment at the Fitness and Activity Center where propane space heaters will be available to take the chill off the crowd. Carolers from Harvest Community Church will entertain.

Mr. Bill’s Petting Zoo will be available on Ford Street.

The 10th Street Station will have food available with all proceeds to go to next year’s event.

The Rock ‘n Roll Pet Shop musical show will be presented in front of Chamber’s Jewelers.

Marilyn Peck Valasek will be reading children’s stories provided by the Ford City Public Library.

The Armstrong Brass Quintet, whose members include Drew Fennell and Jason Venesky, will perform Christmas music.

Christmas hats will be distributed. Christmas cookies will be served.

Donations were made by Foodland, Riverside and Nancy Odrechowski.

“This year is going to be a good time,” said event chairman Ron Olsen of the Ford City Area Business and Professional Association. “The highlight is Shelby Klingensmith. That’s what Christmas is all about.”

Additional Information:

Ford City Christmas Light Up

• Saturday, 2:00-5:30 p.m. on Ford Street

• 2:00: Santa Claus arrives on a fire truck

• 2:30: Carolers entertain

• 3:15: Musical show in front of Chamber’s Jewelers

• 4:00-5:00: Armstrong Brass Quintet performs Christmas music

• 5:00: Winning ticket drawn for Venturing Crew 630 log cabin playhouse to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation

• Other events include a petting zoo, children’s stories and refreshments


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