By WARREN DILLAWAY - email@example.com
The Rev. John Salters pumped up the crowd to kick off the musical portion of the G.O. Ministries Christmas party on Saturday afternoon.
The party included a full meal, gifts, fellowship and a reminder that the Christmas season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Salters, executive director of G.O. Ministries, said the organization has done some kind of Christmas celebration for the last 18 years, but it has grown each year.
Eventually Salters got more than a dozen children on stage to sing Christmas carols as more than 300 people in the ministry gymnasium sang along.
“I do it every year. I think it is wonderful,” said Ashtabula resident Donna Miller of the annual Christmas party.
“It’s nice. I’ve been here many times,” said Rosie Miller. She said she enjoys making new friends and keeping the old ones.
Samiya Harris, 15, volunteered her time to help feed all the guests. She said she wanted to help people out during this holiday season.
“It’s wonderful. We have an enthusiastic crowd. A bunch of kids with big eyes and expectations,” said Salters before kicking the party into full gear.
Salters also reminded the children that the reason for the celebration was the birth of Jesus more than 2,000 years ago.
He said the children were each going to receive two or three gifts each and parents were to receive a present as well.
“Just celebrating Christmas with everyone. It is just fun to see the kids,” said Devon Crockett before playing the piano for the band.
“I love it. I think it is great that the community gets together to do this,” said Mary Ann Schweitzer while wearing a Santa hat and belting out a tune.