'A Joyous Event'
There were big smiles all around Sunday as the second-annual Operation Christmas Child parade took to the streets of Kasson.
Horses and vehicles led the way on an ideal fall day during the event, sponsored by St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The annual project collects school and non-liquid hygiene supplies to send to youngsters in need around the world.
“It was good. Beautiful day,” said Bill Jensen, Kasson, who guided his Norwegian Fjord horses, Sena and Nora. “And we met some nice people, from different towns.”
“It was fun. I felt like I was queen for the day,” said Fran Bell, Dodge Center, one of several folks who rode in Jensen’s horse wagon. “It was a beautiful ride. It was a beautiful day – and it brought an awareness to the people, too.”
The parade began and ended at St. John’s, circling the downtown area and swinging up past the Kasson Aquatic Center. It also featured police vehicles from Kasson and West Concord, the Byron Fire Department, Dodge County Sheriff’s office, and Dodge Center Ambulance.
The hope is to receive enough supplies for 1,500 boxes between area community and church donations and those packed at St. John’s, event coordinator Tanya Young said. More than 1,000 were collected during the 2016 Christmas Child event.
The second “packing party” also was held Sunday at St. John’s. Nearly 60 shoeboxes were packed and ready to be taken to a Rochester church and on to Minneapolis to be inspected and processed according to age and gender.
Young said enough supplies have been collected to fill a bin in the church’s ‘packing party’ room.
“And then we’re not even counting the stuff that we’ve collected today (Sunday),” she said. “Very, very joyous event and great awareness for the community. Hopefully it just keeps growing and growing.”