MANNING - Christmas arrived early for more than 120 senior citizens from throughout Clarendon County.
In celebration of the theme "Communities Working Together," the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office sponsored the Clarendon County Senior Citizens' Christmas Luncheon on Dec. 21 with invitees from communities across the county, including seniors from Branco Adult DayCare Center in Manning, the Manning and Summerton locations of the Clarendon County Council on Aging, the Melina Presbyterian Church Senior Ministry from the Gable/New Zion area and the Paxville Community Center.
The Clarendon County Community Complex's gymnasium looked spectacular decorated for the holiday season in red and white with each table featuring white trees adorned with crystals, poinsettias and greenery. Place settings showcased chargers in red, silver and gold with china plates and crystal glasses. Employees of the CCSO, L and A Catering and Girl Scout Troop 547 served the seniors as they were entertained by Jerry Lloyd and Brianna Harvin.
Speakers included Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley, Paxville Mayor Wade McLeod, the Rev. W.T. Johnson and Deacon John Tindal of Summerton's Taw Caw Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Annie Riley of Pinewood's Mt. Hope Fire Baptized Holiness Church.
Baxley recognized Deputy First Class Annett Smith for everything she did in making the event happen.
"I don't know how she does it, but today's event didn't cost my office anything," he said. "She gets businesses and individuals to donate. She keeps up with her duties while helping out in the communities."
Baxley said that instead of calling the event's guests "senior" citizens that he'd prefer to call them "wise" citizens.
"We can learn a lot from you," he added.
"Jesus is the reason for the season," Riley repeated frequently as guest speaker for the event. "Jesus is the Gift. He is the reason for the season."
Smith emceed the event and handed out more than 100 door prizes along with some additional door prizes that arrived unexpectedly at the event.
"We were truly blessed," Smith told the attendees. "Everyone received a gift of some type. I'm very thankful to our donors and everyone who had a part in making today possible. I couldn't have done it without a lot of help from the community. And that's what the theme is all about communities working together."