By Jan White
CROCKETT – On Dec. 10, Standing with Crockett will host the third Annual Ciera and Special Friends Christmas Celebration. In previous years, the celebration took place in the parking lot of Good Shepherd Fellowship Church, but this year, the event will take place in the Good Shepherd gymnasium.
The event was inspired by Ciera Dennis, the daughter of Wendy Dennis. Good Shepherd’s pastor, Leon Wallace, first met Ciera and Wendy at the Standing with Crockett prayer table and was immediately drawn to what he refers to as “her killer smile.” Wallace created the Ciera and Friends celebration for those in the community with special needs.
For the past two years because of Covid restrictions, the event was more of a ‘parade’ where the special needs kids and adults could drive by ‘stations’ and receive gifts, candy, warm blankets, and other items handed out by volunteers dressed as Disney character or super-hero costumes.
This year, the celebration relocates to the Good Shepherd gym from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., where volunteers will have more interaction with the special needs guests. Tables will be set up, and the kids and adults will have the chance to visit each table and receive a Christmas gift.
Wallace and Standing with Crockett extend this invitation to anyone in the community who has special needs or challenges that they were born with or have developed over time. “It will be lots of fun with Christmas gifts, food, and fellowship with all the families.” The group will also provide gift bags for the siblings of the special needs children.
Pastor Reginald Marshall and his wife, Evangelist Dorothy Marshall, of the InterCity Worship Center, will provide plates of food to the families who attend.
If someone you know has a child or young adult who was born with or has developed special needs, please contact Pastor Wallace with their name and age. Volunteers are always welcome. The event generally costs about $5k, so if you would like to help sponsor the event, contact Pastor Wallace at (432) 559-1939.
“If you want to be part of one of the most wonderful events in Houston County,” stated Wallace, “put on your jolliest Christmas outfit and join Ciera and her Special Friends and help bring joy to the special needs children in Houston County.”