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Event celebrates residents with special needs

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Ciera Dennis and mother Wendy

By Jan White

CROCKETT – On Saturday, December 11, Good Shepherd Fellowship Church will host the 2nd Annual Ciera and Friends Drive-Thru Christmas Celebration. The event will be held at noon at 401 South 7th Street in Crockett. What sets this event apart is that it is specifically for children and young adults in Houston County with special needs or challenges. 

The inspiration for the parade is Ciera Dennis. Ciera is the twenty-one-year-old daughter of Wendy Dennis. Pastor Leon Wallace met Ciera and Wendy at the Standing With Crockett table at Good Shepherd Fellowship Church. 

Although Ciera is non-verbal, the first thing he noticed about her was her killer smile. When the idea began to form to have a Christmas celebration for those with special needs, Pastor Leon asked if Ciera could be his special friend for the event. He named it Ciera and Friends Drive-Thru Christmas. Last year, 51 friends attended, ranging in age from one to 47. 

As vehicles drive the route they are greeted by popular children’s characters, such as Disney Princesses, superheroes like Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man and Christmas favorites like The Grinch and Santa Claus. The characters hand out gifts to the special friends and gift bags for siblings who are also in the car. 

This year, the Latexo Cheerleaders will be cheering the kids along, and the Leo’s will entertain attendees with Christmas carols. And while the children receive their treats, Pastor Reginald Marshall and the InnerCity Worship Center Church will be handing out fried shrimp and fish plates to the parents who attend.

If you, or someone you know, has a child or young adult who was born with or has developed special needs, please contact Pastor Leon Wallace at Good Shepherd Fellowship with their name and age. 

Volunteers are always welcome. If you want to be a part of one of the most wonderful events in Houston County, put on your jolliest Christmas outfit, and join Ciera and Friends as they bring joy to the special needs children in our Community. 

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