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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Childress High School shop students came to the rescue for Christmas in the Park (CITP).
Because of COVID-19, Roach Unit prisoners could not help this year. When Jonathan Wise, who is a neighbor of Charlie Johnston, heard Johnston talk about the dilemma CITP was in, he stepped up and volunteered his shop students, Peggy Teague, president of CITP, explained. Victoria Parker’s students joined in too.
Altogether, 95 CHS students spent their shop class in Fair Park for one and a half weeks, helping volunteer Danny Murphy and his grandson Sean put up the Christmas light displays. Teague doesn’t know what they would have done without the students’ hard work.
“They were such a big help,” Teague said. “They did everything the prison guys have done for us. It was awesome.”
Without the students, Teague said it would have been a huge burden for her and the committee. “We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Teague, who added it was educational for the students. “They learned about electricity and construction.”
Teague wants to remind the community the 2nd Annual CITP Parade will be Saturday, Nov. 28. Itwill start at 6 p.m. in the Childress High School parking lot. The Christmas lights in Fair Park will come on as the parade begins.
This year there will also be a Charlene Smith Memorial Christmas tree, Teague said. A marker will recognize Smith’s efforts to start the CITP effort in 1996 with her twin sister, the late Jeanene Johnston, and her efforts after Jeanene’s death to keep the CITP tradition alive.
“We are going to dedicate Charlene’s tree after the parade,” Teague said.