Miss Spirit of Christmas

The 2010 Spirit of Christmas Festival, sponsored by the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership, will be held Dec. 2 through Dec. 5. As part of the festivities, the search is on for Little Miss Spirit of Christmas, who will be a representative at several of the weekend's activities.

Entry is open to all girls enrolled in third through fifth grade in either the Tamaqua Area School District or St. Jerome's Regional Catholic School. Entry forms were distributed to students in both schools. Completed entries, along with a 4x6 or smaller photo and a short essay (25 words or less), must be returned to the partnership by Nov. 13. Theme for the essay is "What the Spirit of Christmas Means to Me."

Entries should be mailed to Spirit of Christmas, 926 West Penn Pike, Tamaqua. Photos and essays will then be on display, through Nov. 26, at the Wachovia Bank Branch in Tamaqua.

All entrants will receive a gift and be able to participate in the Santa Parade on Dec. 3.

SAL holidays

The Tamaqua Salvation Army is gearing up for its annual holiday traditions, including the Angel Tree Program and the Christmas Kettle Campaign.

The Angel Tree Program provides a season brightener for needy children who may not otherwise receive any gifts during the holidays. Names of participating children have been written on angel tags, which are then placed on angel trees at participating locations. Each Angel Tag provides the name, age, gender, clothing sizes and special Christmas needs/wishes of the child.

Deadline to return new, unwrapped items will be Dec. 15.

The Christmas Kettle Campaign will kick off on Nov. 20, at 10 a.m., at Depot Square Park. Volunteers are asked to spend two or more hours ringing the traditional bells at designated kettle locations. Funds collected are used to support local needy residents in the Schuylkill-Carbon area.

For more information on either program, call the Tamaqua Salvation Army at 668-0410.

St. Peter's Union

The Rev. Rodney Wells will officiate at the 9 a.m. worship service Sunday in St. Peter's Union Church, Mantzville. The service will include a tribute to military veterans and a Joyous Noise Offering for Angel Food Ministries. Sunday school classes meet at 10:15 a.m.

Also on Sunday, rehearsal for the Sunday school Christmas Program will begin at 10:30 a.m. Participants with speaking parts will rehearse at 11:15 a.m. A service of remembrance, sponsored by the nurses of St. Luke's Hospice, will be held at 3 p.m. Cub Scouts meet at 6 p.m.

Activities for next week include: Monday, deadline for newsletter items; Tuesday, Women's Association of St. Peter's meets at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, dinner theater rehearsal at 6:15 p.m.; Thursday, prayer group meets at 5 p.m. and Confirmation class meets at 6 p.m.

Choir rehearsals are held on Thursdays. Next week's schedule will include: Cherub Choir meets at 6:30 p.m., Junior Choir at 7 p.m., and Senior Choir at 7:45 p.m.

Dinner theatre performances will be on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.

For more information, call (570) 386-4388.

TOPS

The local Chapter of Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) meets every Wednesday in the education room at St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, Coaldale. Weigh-ins begin at 6 p.m., followed by a short business session and a program.

TOPS is a weight loss support group for men and women of all ages. Members learn sensible nutrition, portion control and lifestyle changes that promote lifelong health. Visitors are welcome to attend their first meeting without obligation, free of charge.

For more information, stop by a meeting or call Kathy Ruff at (570) 645-3059. Information is also available on the Web at TOPS.org.