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Santa to Highlight McDowell Tech Tree Lighting on November 30th

Join us on Thursday November 30th at the Universal Advanced Manufacturing Center, 634 College Drive, Marion, NC. For our annual Tree Lighting!

Candy canes and hot chocolate will be provided. Children (and children at heart!) can write letters to Santa and have pictures taken with him. A Christmas story, chosen by the college’s SGA, will be read just before the Christmas tree lighting at 6:00 pm.

View of the 2022 tree with the moon in the background

If there’s anything that gets on Santa’s nerves, it must surely be the skeptical adults he runs into as he darts in and out of malls getting ready for the holiday season—folks like Ryan Garrison, McDowell Tech’s Interim President, for example. After a particularly unpleasant beard-pulling incident recently, he is probably at the top of Santa’s “Gets On My Last Nerve” list, and he probably shouldn’t expect that Christmas bonus he’s been asking for.

Garrison was strolling through a local mall the other day when the Jolly Old Elf tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Hey, Garrison, got a minute?”

Garrison spun around and jumped back a step or two. “Who are you,” he said, trying to guess who might be sporting the bright red Santa suit. “And how did you know my name? Oh, wait a minute… Stacy Buff sent you, didn’t he? Where’s he at—hiding in one of these stores with his video camera?,” he grinned, looking around and tugging at Santa’s beard, suspecting a cheap mall Santa with a fake beard.

“Ouch!,” said Santa. “What the heck, man?! I was just going to ask if I could come back to McDowell Tech this year for your annual tree lighting ceremony to talk to all those sweet girls and boys from McDowell County. I had such a good time talking with them last year.” But he sensed Garrison’s skepticism.

“Don’t believe it’s really me? Remember when you were young? You asked for that tricked out blue BMX bicycle one year, and then a red fire engine Transformer another year, and then there was the Gameboy when you were about 10 or so…”

Convinced, Garrison apologized for pulling Santa’s beard and got out his calendar and booked Santa for a return engagement at McDowell Tech’s third annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, November 30th at 5:30 p.m.

The tree lighting ceremony will be held at Universal Advanced Manufacturing Center, just west of the college’s main campus, at 634 Universal Drive. There will be hot chocolate and sweet treats, and kids will have a chance to write Santa a letter to put in the mailbox near his chair in the lobby. The MTCC Student Government Association (SGA) will be Santa’s helpers and will assist him throughout the evening.

“One of our staff members will take digital photos of the kids telling Santa what they want for Christmas, and we’ll upload those photos to Facebook the next morning,” said Garrison.

Afterwards, folks will gather in the parking lot for a reading of a Christmas story by one of the college’s SGA Officers, followed by the finale—the lighting of the giant Christmas tree that sits on top of the Universal Building. “If the weather is cool enough, we might even see a dusting of snow again this year,” concluded Garrison.

The large outdoor Christmas tree will stay lit from dusk until dawn throughout the Christmas season as a reminder to folks to cultivate love, peace and joy in their hearts and to spread those things wherever they go.

Julie Padgett Buchanan

Keeping the Faith

A sweet and loving child of God returned to her heavenly father in the still and quiet of a bitterly-cold January morning earlier this week. Julie Buchanan, better known to most of her McDowell Tech family as Julie Padgett, ended her battle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, on Wednesday, just a little more than 21 months after she was officially diagnosed with the disease.

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