Texas Wesleyan will be sponsoring the Polytechnic Community Center’s Christmas Party for children in the Polytechnic community on Dec. 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Texas Wesleyan’s Polytechnic community roots are well known. The university’s mission statement encourages community outreach and involvement.

“The University also strives to develop a sense of civic responsibility and spiritual sensitivity, with a commitment to moral discrimination and action,” according to Texas Wesleyan’s website.

Dr. Ronnie McManus is in charge of organizing this year’s event. McManus is a professor of religion who has been teaching at Wesleyan since 1979.

Planning for the event will be Friday in room 304 of the Polytechnic United Methodist Church.

During the last Student Government Association weekly meeting before Thanksgiving break, McManus spoke on behalf of a proposed bill that would help fund the event.

The bill proposed had a modest budget of $300 for gifts, $60 for food, and $40 for drinks. The $400 proposed budget was going to be split amongst 75 children.

After an emotional speech by McManus, SGA felt that the amount of the bill was not sufficient to provide an adequate Christmas party for the children and approved $3,000.

“This will be the only Christmas that most of these children will receive,” McManus said during the meeting.

Such a large increase in funding is not typical at an SGA meeting, but when asked SGA President Alyssa Hutchinson spoke to the impact McManus’s speech about the event had.

“It is true the raise was not typical,” she said. “I think a big reason behind it happening was the impact that Dr. McManus’s speech had on the board. It was beautiful. We have been encouraging our representatives to bring the people who are impacted by the bill to our meetings when it is presented so that we can not only get answers to our questions but we can also get an idea of the impact from the source. The presentation of the PUMC Christmas Party Bill was a perfect example of that.”

McManus said that this event was a perfect example of the type of community involvement that Wesleyan encourages.

“I think this event really does fit with our mission statement,” McManus said. “Fifty years we have sponsored a Christmas Party at the Polytechnic Community Center.”

The need for community involvement was not lost on Wesleyan President Frederick Slabach, who agreed that this is an important event.

“Texas Wesleyan is proud to be a part of the Polytechnic Heights neighborhood. I commend the Department of Religion for their dedication to supporting area children and their families by putting together a festive holiday celebration for nearly 50 years. We are very privileged to be a part of this wonderful tradition,” Slabach wrote in an email.

Volunteers for the event, and those wishing to make donations, are encouraged to contact McManus at rmcmanus@txwes.edu or by telephone at 817-531-4915.

Information poster about the Christmas party courtesy of Alyssa Hutchinson.

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