It was a heartbreaking Christmas Eve for Jerry and Jo Dhoogie, whose store, Bridgeport Gardens right off Kings Valley Highway, burned to the ground that night. The loss was total. With the massive clean-up that looms ahead, obviously, that means they are not open for business, although Jo will continue to keep the Azure co-op business going with a few minor adjustments. If she doesn’t get reminders out, contact her for dates and times when orders are due. They greatly appreciated all who volunteered to help with the cleanup and will be getting a cleanup party together soon, weather permitting. They’ll let everyone know when.

Meanwhile, Bob and Lynda Schnekenburger spent two weeks in San Jose del Cabo enjoying the warm sun and watching it rise in the east, something they are unable to do at home because of the hill in that direction.

They explored the coast line and went snorkeling, and on one trip saw a group of at least one hundred mantas jumping from the water and splashing back down as they traveled across the bay. 

They loved the Mexican food and the friendly hospitality of the people, and said they could easily live there because of the wonderful weather. It was hard to come back to ice, snow and freezing weather.

Over 120 people attended the children’s Christmas program at the Pedee Church candlelight service on Christmas Eve. The play, directed by Heather Traglia and Heidi Russell, was “Room At The Inn” and the cast included Nic Heller (not a kid) as the inn keeper, Allana Russell as the innkeeper’s wife, Liam Castle as Joseph, and Abigail Russell as Mary. Alex Russell, Leo Mellein, and Parker Crowe were shepherds and Kailey and Lilah Traglia, Aliyah Russell, and Kalina Brotherton were angels, and Wynnie Russell and Joy Castle were sheep.

The scene even included a dog, Kindan Brotherton. After the play the congregation sang Christmas carols, which sounded wonderful with that crowd. As is the tradition, the group then lit candles and sang Silent Night in the darkened sanctuary, which always seems magical on Christmas Eve — a beautiful way to welcome in the birth of Christ.

Last week Suzanne Burbank attended Wilco’s leadership conference in Sun River, which concluded with an awards banquet. Much to her surprise, she was given the President’s Award for her outstanding work as clothing buyer in developing and improving the clothing departments for Wilco’s 18 stores. She very much appreciated the recognition for her work. She was also recognized for her 25 years as a Wilco employee.

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