Residents at Edgemont Lodge Assisted Living Personal Care Home in Lansford had a Christmas treat on Wednesday as cadets from Panther Valley High School's JROTC program participated in their annual Christmas party.

During the event, cadets mingled with the residents and played bingo, sang Christmas carols and gave them handmade Christmas cards.

Kenneth J. Markovich, senior Army instructor at the high school, explained that the Christmas program is part of the cadets' service learning project.

"This helps connect the students with the community," he said, adding that the cadets made the bingo cards, Christmas cards and have practiced singing a variety of Christmas carols. "The cadets are completely involved in the planning phase."

Markovich noted that the items for the event are paid for through the cadets' fund.

Courtney Lazar, JROTC battalion commander, said that they enjoy this event because it brings joy to the residents.

"We're helping to spread Christmas cheer because some of the residents don't have family anymore," she said.

The cadets began the event by helping the residents watch their bingo cards and calling the games. Prizes included candy assortments and Christmas figurines.

MaryLou Murphy, director of nursing at Edgemont Lodge, said that this event is very important to the residents.

"The JROTC cadets come out during the holiday and it means a lot to the residents here because some don't have anyone," she said, adding that the residents look at the cadets as their friends. "The Christmas cards they bring for each resident make their Christmas brighter. It's a very nice thing they do."

Murphy also said the annual Christmas party is something the residents look forward to every year, and that as soon as December comes, most residents are asking when the party will be held.

The JROTC Christmas event at Edgemont Lodge has taken place for over 17 years.