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One S. Church Street, Suite 200, Hazleton, PA 18201      
570.455.1508   570.454.7787    


Hundreds of children and adults enjoyed a festive kickoff to the holiday season during the 22nd annual CAN DO Community Christmas on Wednesday evening.

CAN DO_ChristmasCAN DO Community Christmas “Come Celebrate the Arts” featured music from several school groups performing at Christ Lutheran Church in downtown Hazleton. The theme of this year’s event was “Nutcracker Ballet.”

CAN DO Community Christmas is coordinated by CAN DO’s Student Action Committee, made up of local high school students who plan and assist with special community projects throughout the year. Committee members Samantha Hartz of Weatherly Area High School and Haylee Kirschner of MMI Preparatory School served as this year’s co-chairs for CAN DO Community Christmas.

CAN DO Chairman of the Board Lew Dryfoos said, “It always puts everyone in the holiday mood to gather together and hear festive music. I’d like to thank all of our performers and their instructors, as well as the members of the CAN DO Student Action Committee and CAN DO Community Relations Committee who have worked hard to prepare for this exciting event.”

Featured performers included the MMI Chamber Ensemble, directed by Tina Lizbinski; the Hazleton Area High School Chamber Singers, directed by Kim Sharonoff; the Heights-Terrace Elementary/Middle School Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jennifer Gerhard; the Hazleton Area High School Jazz Ensemble, directed by Neil Forte; and the Heights-Terrace Elementary/Middle School third-grade chorus, directed by Rachel Brimmer.

Each student who performed at CAN DO Community Christmas received a T-shirt designed by the Student Action Committee. The children in attendance also wrote letters to Santa Claus with the help of the students on the committee and were able to have their photos taken with Santa. Students at the Keystone Job Corps provided cookies for the event.

Student Action Committee members are Luke Olander, Gabrielle Ator, Morgan O’Hara, Monica Abdelmalek and Natalie Alcantara, Hazleton Area High School; Rebecca Wolfe and Anthony Kimsal, Immanuel Christian School; Hunter Berger and Dominic Mussoline, Marian High School; Haylee Kirschner and Brendan Drusda, MMI Preparatory School; and Samantha Hartz and Trent Dempsey, Weatherly Area High School. Charles Burkhardt, CAN DO board member, and Nancy Stasko, CAN DO director of administration, are advisers to the Student Action Committee.

Sponsors for this year’s CAN DO Community Christmas are WYLN, Keystone Job Corps, Gottstein Corp., Humboldt Industrial Supply and Tootsie Roll Industries.