Portage is a city of good will.

Merry Christmas, Portage!

The spirit of Christmas is good will toward all.  Good will is a heart attitude of helpfulness toward all people.  On Sunday December 13, a collection of 40 volunteers hosted the Portage Christmas Show at the Portage United Methodist Church gathering a total attendance of 145 people.

The purpose of the show is to lead the way in good will.  Guests were picked up at their vehicle by Ian Dumbleton smiling and driving a decorated golf cart and escorted to the front door where they were met by cheerful greeters showing the way to a great line up of refreshments organized by Liz Bellmore.  With cookies and treats in hand, guests enjoyed following the path to Ol’ Saint Nic, played by John Kampen, in the Christmas Village beautifully decorated by Sherry Ferguson.  Saint Nic is a historical figure known for his good will toward all, secretly giving to help needy families, throwing stockings filled with money down chimneys.

After visiting with Ol’ Saint Nic, guests were invited to pick out a gift at Saint Nic’s Gifts, a cause driven by Blau Family Chiropractic, who were focused on creating relationships with community.  Dr. Kevin’s efforts to build a healthy culture have had a consistent and effective presence in Portage.  Keep up the good will, Dr. Kevin and team!

Next in line, guests were ushered into in the Sanctuary at the Portage United Methodist Church for the Show.  The sanctuary was transformed by a stage set constructed by Jesse Chambers, and a beautiful light show professionally operated by J. Steven’s Productions of the Crystal Grand Theatre.

The talk of the town that evening was the music group from Faith Christian Church in Mauston, Wisconsin who performed an inspiring acoustic set of inspiring Christmas music that left people clapping hands and tapping feet.  “Who was that?” was echoing through the halls.  “They rock!” and “That put me in the Christmas spirit!”  Coupled with vision for a better future by Jared Pierson of Activate Church and a hope-filled message by Craig Groeschel, everyone was full of good will and ready to share it.

But that’s not all, at the show, guests were invited to partner with Compassion International to care for poverty stricken children around the world.  Through this partnership, every 6 check-ins at Activate Church on the FaceBook mobile app provides a full day of care to 1 child in poverty.  The heart of this show is to bring people together to build a better future… and Portage did just that, around the world.

Amidst the line up of positive feedback, one guest left this note:

THANK YOU from the bottom of my family’s hearts for the love and welcome you showed us into your church family, tonight.  My children had smiles on their faces and I had tears in my eyes with love from the kindness and lessons you all taught us!

The highlight of the night was the fundraising effort for the Portage Family Skate Park, led by President Kyle Little, focused on local impact.  The event collected $265 for the Portage Family Skate Park, breaking ground in Spring 2016, and looking to collect the last $2,400 for phase 1.  Kyle is excited about the growing sense of good will partnerships forming between churches, clubs, and businesses in Portage.

Special thanks to the working partnership with Portage Family Skate Park Project, Portage United Methodist Church, Portage Presbyterian Church, Activate Church, and Faith Christian Church.

It is easy to see that Portage is a city of good will to all.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Photos: CLT Photography