Holiday Hope

Christmas festival at Harley-Davidson raises funds, awareness for New Hope advocacy center

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Santa left the sleigh at the North Pole this year for an early trip to Blount County on his own Harley-Davidson. The occasion was the second annual Children’s Christmas Festival at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and Buell.

The event took place Dec. 16 at the indoor section of the Shed, a facility adjacent to the motorcycle dealership. Youngsters and their families enjoyed bean bag toss, a cake walk, Tic Tac Toe, Putt Putt golf, ping pong, face painting by "Hats" the clown and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

Festival attendees also enjoyed horse-drawn wagon rides around the dealership property and a photographer took children’s pictures with Santa and his Harley. There was no admission charge and everyone who brought an unwrapped present for New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center received 10 free game tickets. The party was a benefit for the center.

The festival was designed not only to raise funds, but support and awareness for the New Hope center, a non-profit, private agency that serves physically and sexually abused children. The center’s mission is to serve children through prevention, community education and intervention. New Hope personnel and volunteers use the facility for such tasks as interviewing, completing medical exams, counseling and other services needed by the child and the non-offending family members in order to offer a less traumatic, home-like setting.

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