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Grinch, Jaycees bring cheer to area families

By Sue Sitter - | Dec 5, 2020

Sue Sitter/PCT The Grinch, left, poses with helper Karen Fritel at the Jaycees’ goody bag distribution point in downtown Rugby on Nov. 28.

The Rugby Jaycees and the Grinch teamed up this year – a rare thing for the Grinch – to give area families a little socially-distanced holiday cheer on Saturday, Nov. 28.

The Jaycees’ second annual Grinchmas, when children receive small gifts courtesy of the Jaycees and local donors, was held without the party and fun activities it had last year. However, children had the chance to view the Grinch and his helpers from their homes as they dropped off bags of goodies on doorsteps all over town. Families signed up for the event via the Jaycees’ social media pages earlier in November.

Families living out of town had the chance to drive to the corner of Main Avenue and Second Street to pick up goody bags from a brightly decorated pickup truck parked next to the city’s Christmas tree.

“We had 58 families, with 134 kids that will be reached with (the Grinchmas),” Brittany Lovcik, Jaycees member and friend of the Grinch said.

“It was no cost for anybody,” said member Karen Fritel. “You just had to sign up for it. We’re delivering in town pretty soon, and we’re getting ready for people from out of town to come pick up (goody bags).”

The Jaycees won’t be done with holiday fun after Grinchmas, either.

The club is sponsoring a home decorating contest for those who enjoy trimming their roofs and yards with lights and other decorations.

“Our decorating contest runs through December,” Lovcik said.

“We drive around (the area) and look at different decorations each week,” Fritel noted, adding the club will take tips from residents who want to show off their homes or know of someone with a home showing holiday spirit.

“If anybody knows of a house that we might’ve missed, they can send us a message on Facebook so we can go check it out,” Fritel said.

Fritel said contest winners would be selected after Christmas. “There are prizes for the contest winner, first, second and third place,” Fritel noted, adding the first-place winner would receive a discount on their utility bill from Otter Tail Power Company, something a homeowner with lots of lights would likely appreciate.

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