Billie’s Kids Christmas Party


Riley Mitchell, Staff Writer

Over 35 years ago, Billie Schuler and the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce decided to start a Christmas party for less fortunate children in our community. She planned to give them a better Christmas than what they’d originally have by encouraging people and organizations to donate money and time to make this event possible. Billie was a person who would never take “no” for an answer, so she was certain about making this Christmas party come to life.

When Billie was no longer able to carry on the tradition of the party, and the Chamber of Commerce was considering discontinuing the party, Billie’s seven children took over in order to keep it going. Since then, the Schuler family and many family friends have helped in making the event perfect every year. Meetings to organize the party usually begin some time in October. They receive names of the kids that will attend, a list of possible volunteers, food choices, activities, budget, and much more in order to make the event work.

Whether I was decorating, talking to the parents, or just sitting with the kids, I was having fun the entire time.”

— Phebe Bolt

Every child will always receive a nice gift like clothes or toys and a good lunch with treats at the party. They will also receive get a nice, large take home bag of food and items that could last them a while at home. Last year, about 90 children attended the party. This year, about 160 kids are expected to be there.

There are various activities for the kids to participate in while at the party. There’s dancing, face painting, coloring, karaoke, and other fun activities for the kids to enjoy, while they wait for food and gifts. The volunteers at the party help make sure it run smoothly. Phebe Bolt, a volunteer from last year’s party said, “To me, it didn’t even feel like working. Whether I was decorating, talking to the parents, or just sitting with the kids, I was having fun the entire time. My favorite part was going around and playing the little games with the kids. It was nice to see they were having a good time.”

The Billie’s Kids Christmas Party is a memorable day for everyone involved. Terry Mitchell said, “Billie’s Kids Christmas Party is my favorite day of the year. It’s a day Billie’s entire family can come together because of something she started. I always have the feeling she’s smiling down on us on that day.” There’s so much hard work put into one day for the children that attend, and it really pays off to see the smile on every child’s face.