Organization brings holiday cheer to area families

Though the attendance was less than expected, Nevada Outreach Training Organization’s (NOTO) Community Christmas celebration received rave reviews on Friday, as the Bob Ruud Community Center was transformed into a Victorian park setting.

Several hundred families attended the fourth annual event, some decked out in Victorian-era clothing.

Nevada Outreach Program Manager Kerry Shilling said she thought everyone who attended the celebration had a good time.

“Compared to last year, the turnout was a little low but we had a wonderful time with all the people there,” she said. “I think the families and children really enjoyed it this year and we’ve heard nothing but great reviews from everybody. They loved the setup and the loved the flow of it all.”

The organization’s Domestic Violence Program Manager Robyn Shoup said each year she and staff thought long and hard about the next year’s theme.

“By the fourth annual Christmas party, we were digging around to determine what we could do next,” she said. “The Victorian theme just came to mind one day during lunch when we brainstormed it. We thought that it would be different and the people that did come were truly amazed.”

Shoup also said the organization prefers to alter the date each year to avoid scheduling conflicts with other holiday-themed events in town.

“We always try to change the date just to see what would be a better date for the community,” she said. “The schools all had activities that night also and we were thinking that is what contributed to the decline in families this year. We’re not disappointed. We are happy for those who did come because they all seemed to have a wonderful time.”

Shilling also noted that organizers will soon begin to work on next year’s Community Christmas Party.

“For us to create something different every year can be a challenge,” she said. “I’m not sure what next year is going to bring, but we are excited about creating a new community Christmas party.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at

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