On Saturday, Dec. 15, Duke Mason will be on stage at Carthage Memorial Hall entertaining hundreds of little girls and boys for the 34th Annual LaVerne Williams Children’s Christmas party.
This Saturday, Mason will take the same stage to raise money and collect toys to make sure those little boys and girls next Saturday leave the party with some kind of gift.
“This entire party is based on donations from the community,” said Carthage Police Capt. Randee Kaiser. “Good attendance to the concert usually means good things for the party, so we encourage people to come out and kick off the Christmas Season.”
The Duke Mason concert is slated for 7 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8 at Carthage Memorial Hall. Cost is a cash donation or an unwrapped, new, in-the-box gift fit for a child.
Kaiser said Mason has been holding this pre-Christmas party for six years.
“Duke and his band do so much work, both the Saturday before in the concert, then the Saturday of the party as master of ceremonies,” Kaiser said. “He and his band do this free of charge so all the benefit goes to those kids at the party.”
Kaiser said the police department sent out 1,260 invitations to needy children in the Carthage school district, and based on past experience, they expect about 800 children and their parents to show up for the event.
Every child will leave with something, even if it is a gift card, some candy and a stuffed animal. The children will be signed up for a drawing and Santa will give out larger presents to those names drawn at the party.
Like last year, next week’s party will be divided into two sessions, one at 9 a.m. and one at 11 a.m.