First In Person Senior Citizens Christmas Party Since Pre-Pandemic A Huge Success

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Paige McKinney with Santa Clause and Santa Cow

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MINT HILL, NC – On Saturday, December 3, the Senior Citizens Christmas Party returned to Independence High School!

Boy scouts distributing coffee and hot chocolate
Boy scouts distributing coffee and hot chocolate

Hosted by the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by numerous Chamber members, the Senior Citizens Christmas party is a time-honored holiday tradition that dates back to the mid-80s.  After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the sentiment expressed by sponsors, speakers and seniors alike was immense gratitude for being able to gather in person once again.



The joyful and festive atmosphere of the event was clear the moment guests entered the IHS lobby, where Health Occupation students conducted blood pressure checks and volunteers distributed coffee and hot chocolate.  Guests could even take a photo with Santa Claus himself to mark the occasion!

Mayor Simmons addressing the crowd
Mayor Simmons addressing the crowd

The program kicked off promptly at 11:00 am with a welcome from three important individuals who were critical to the event’s planning and execution: Committee Chair Navondria Huggins (Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care), Chamber President Rick Peniston (Peniston Deason Attorneys at Law), and Joy Greear from Title Sponsor Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center.

Volunteers from many different organizations distributed lunch to the seniors as Mayor Brad Simmons and IHS  Principal Amy Mims addressed the crowd.  Simmons discussed how much Mint Hill has changed in just three short years, highlighting expansions and improvements to Mint Hill’s Police and Fire Departments.  Mims expressed a desire for a renewed partnership with both the Chamber and the community.

The IHS Chamber Choir
The IHS Chamber Choir

The sincerity of Mims’ commitment was clear through IHS’ students participation in all facets of the day’s program.  Colonel Jenkins and the IHS JROTC Color Guard conducted the Pledge of Allegiance and Presentation of Colors, and the IHS Chamber Choir sang the National Anthem as well as several Christmas carols.  IHS students crafted ornaments for each senior to take home, and IHS students could be seen throughout the program serving lunch, clearing dishes, and distributing raffle prizes.

A true highlight of the event was the entertainment from the event’s Masters of Ceremonies, former Commissioner Mike Cochrane, who was instrumental in the event’s inception over 30 years ago, and beloved local weatherman Larry Sprinkle from WCNC TV.

Mint Hill Dance
Mint Hill Dance

Another memorable part of the program were the many groups that donated their time to entertain the crowd.  The Miss Mint Hill Scholarship Pageant Winners introduced themselves and helped to distribute raffle prizes.  Mint Hill Dance Center’s competition team performed four dances learned especially for the event.  In addition to literally hundreds of raffle prizes, guests also had the opportunity to enter a $500 raffle from Handyman Solutions and win a $100 Harris Teeter gift card by guessing the amount of cash in the First National Bank money tree.

James Rountree (Handyman Solutions), Mindy Parman (Thrivent Financial) and Rick Peniston (Peniston Deason Attorneys at Law)
James Rountree (Handyman Solutions), Mindy Parman (Thrivent Financial) and Rick Peniston (Peniston Deason Attorneys at Law)

The Senior Citizens Christmas Party represents a true collaboration on the part of numerous Chamber members and volunteers.  In addition to title sponsor Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center, the Chamber expresses its deepest appreciation to the following event sponsors who made the afternoon possible: 1st Choice Properties, Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care, Dermatology Care of Charlotte, Primis Mortgage, The UPS Store (Mint Hill), Archwell Health, Carolina Hemp, Massage Sanctuary, PNC Bank, and The Town of Mint Hill.  Numerous other volunteers, bag sponsors and committee members also contributed to the event’s success.

The First National Bank Money Tree

The party closed with a spirited sing-a-long of “Joy to the World” led by the IHS Choir and a prayer from Mint Hill Commissioner and Co-Founder of New Beginnings Community Church Rev. Dr. Twanna Henderson.  Thank you to everyone who helped make the first in-person Senior Citizens Christmas Party since 2019 a huge success!

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com