Sussex County carolers, groups collect more than 20,000 food items to feed the need

 

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James Hall, right, of Lewes is all smiles as he drops off a food donation during Caroling on The Circle. At left is Shawn Lewis of the Sussex County Building and Grounds Department.

GEORGETOWN – With one unified voice, Sussex Countians are coming together to help lift up many voices in need this holiday season.

Caroling sky brady ruth briggs king

With microphone in hand, Caroling on The Circle Master of Ceremonies Sky Brady puts 37th District State Rep. Ruth Briggs King in the momentary spotlight as elected officials lead the closing carols at Monday’s event.

More than 400 carolers gathered in downtown Georgetown for the 32nd annual Caroling on The Circle event Monday night, singing traditional and Spanish carols to ring in the Christmas season, but more importantly, working in concert to collect more than 20,000 canned goods and non-perishable items for local food banks.

Each year, Caroling on The Circle kicks off the holiday season for Sussex County, while serving as a community food drive to benefit local pantries.

Started in 1984 as part of the Delaware First initiative, Caroling on The Circle continues to help those in need three decades later.

To date, the community has donated more than 670,000 canned goods through the Caroling on The Circle program during the course of its 32-year history.

“Once again, the Sussex County community has shown an endless outpouring of compassion and goodwill for their neighbors in need,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “So many of our citizens will enjoy a brighter holiday because of the support from those who helped make this year’s Caroling on The Circle food drive another tremendous success.”

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Miah Hurst, 6, of Millsboro greets Santa Claus, who arrived by horse-drawn wagon at Monday’s Caroling on The Circle in Georgetown.

As part of the Caroling event, Sussex County once again called on the public to ‘Pack the POD’ by setting up a 14-foot-by-7-foot PODS storage trailer on The Circle.

The unit served as a focal point for Caroling and to heighten awareness about the food drive.

Monday night’s Caroling event, along with collections from Sussex County Council, County employees, numerous schools, groups and businesses leading up to the event, helped this year’s preliminary total reach a little more than 20,000 items.

With three weeks still left in the drive, the County hopes to take the final total even higher by the New Year.

The public can continue to drop off canned goods and non-perishable food items between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the County Administrative Offices building on The Circle or the West Complex offices on U.S. 113, both in Georgetown.

The Caroling on The Circle food drive will continue until Dec. 31.

Mr. Lawson thanked the public and those in attendance at Monday night’s event, and acknowledged several participating groups.

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Tina Timmons and Hannah Timmons join hundreds of other carolers in “O Little Town of Bethlehem” at Caroling on The Circle.

Those included County Council, County employees, All-Span, Inc., Aloft AeroArchitects (formerly PATS Aircraft Systems), A.P. Croll and Son, Inc., Steve Class/Colonial East, the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association, First State Manufactured Housing Association, Fuqua, Yori & Willard, Little Einstein Preschool, Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, West Bay Homeowners Association, Georgetown Elementary, Georgetown Middle, H. O. Brittingham Elementary, Long Neck Elementary, Millsboro Middle, and Milton Elementary schools, and Sussex Academy.

Items collected will be donated to approximately 15 area pantries, shelters and church organizations for distribution within Sussex County.

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Sussex Central High School’s Choir takes the stage at Caroling on The Circle.

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Always a crowd favorite, the St. Michael’s Catholic Church Children’s Choir entertains with a Spanish carol.

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