One again, Meadville’s annual Jimmy Moore Christmas Party funding is off to a slow start — and, once again, party organizers are confident the right amounts of money, gifts and volunteer hours will be rolling in soon.
“The donations have been slow coming this year” Meadville Sertoma Club President Jack Thompson said this week. “The economy’s been down again this year — but we’ll manage, I’m sure of that. We always find a way, thanks to the many people who help.
“The community actually does it, and it’s really very heartwarming,” Thompson said of his years of experience running the party. “The party belongs to our community; it’s their party — we’re just the in-between.”
The annual party, more than 60 years, is the community’s way of helping children from less fortunate families experience a better Christmas. Guided in recent years by the local Sertoma Club, the event provides food, fun and gifts to hundreds of local kids.
This year’s event is Dec. 22 at Meadville Area Senior High School. It begins with lunch at noon, and the entertainment starts at 1 before the gift-giving occurs.
Last year’s party took place on Dec. 17 — eight days before Christmas. So, Thompson is excited about how close this year’s party is to Christmas Day.
“That’s what makes it nicer this year,” Thompson said. “The children won’t have to wait long to open their gifts, since some parents have them wait until Christmas Day.”
Nearly 600 children attended last year’s event, and about 30 Sertoma members volunteer their time to put the party together. The club has served as many as 900 children in the past.
Donations have been harder to come by in the past few years. This year’s party will cost a little over $20,000, Thompson said, and about half that money is currently collected.
The first Jimmy Moore party was held in 1946 after the Meadville Fire Department came into possession of a letter that Jimmy Moore, a boy from Meadville, had sent to Santa. The letter asked whether he would be stopping at the boy’s home that year.
Moore wrote that his family was poor and could not afford gifts, and he wondered if that was why Santa didn’t stop the year before.
While the actual existence of Moore himself and the authenticity of the letter was never verified, it inspired the Meadville Fire Department to sponsor a community party for children who might not otherwise have Christmas.
Over the years, many groups have carried on the tradition with the Sertoma Club serving as local sponsor for the Jimmy Moore Christmas party since the mid-1960s.
Children ages 10 and younger must be pre-registered with the Meadville Sertoma Club to attend the annual Jimmy Moore Christmas party.
Sign-up dates for the party are Dec. 4, 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Meadville Sertoma Club, 14420 Baldwin St. Ext., or by calling the club at 333-1234.
This year’s party is Dec. 22 at Meadville Area Senior High School.
Buy a paper to help Jimmy Moore
Meadville Sertoma Club’s annual Jimmy Moore Christmas Party newspaper sales drive is today and Saturday in hopes of gathering funds for the annual holiday gathering for underprivileged children in the Meadville area.
Meadville Sertoma Club members are selling donated issues of The Meadville Tribune at various locations in Meadville and Saegertown. The money raised during the newspaper drive helps put together the Christmas party for children age 10 and younger.
Toy auction Sunday
To help raise funds for the annual Jimmy Moore Christmas Party, a toy auction is hosted Sunday at Meadville Sertoma Club, 14420 Baldwin St. Ext. Hundreds of toys of all kinds will be sold to bidders in a live auction. The auction begins at 1 p.m.
The club has an overabundance of some toys from previous years. Since we can no longer use some of them, and since income is low this year, this will supplement our funds.
Dear Santa Claus,
I’m Jimmy Moore. I guess you don’t know we’re awful poor, and is that the reason, Santa, why you always pass us by? The folks with money, Santa Claus, get the nicest things for Christmas. Maybe you can tell me why. I’ve never had a Christmas tree. I guess nobody thinks of me — if they do they all forget when the toys are passed about. And I guess you forget me too — the same as other people do — or maybe you don’t like me — for you always leave me out.
But I thought you were different than the other people I know. I thought sure you’d remember. I wonder what it is that I’ve done that I can’t have no Christmas fun — do you think that I’m more naughty than the richer boys? But Santa, I thought you might remember me if I would write a little note and ask you not to miss us cause we’re poor, so please now Santa, won’t you try to look me up — don’t pass me by — I’ll be looking for you, Santa.
From your old friend,