Thursday December 15, 2016
Community Bible Church in South Burlington hosted it’s fifth annual Jay’s Christmas Party with approximately 2,000 people in attendance this year.The free community holiday event is held yearly in honor of Jeannette “Jay” Lefebvre and her love of children and the Christmas season.
With 100 volunteers making all the magic happen, there were two party times in order to accommodate all the kids who wanted to attend. According to Robin Danaher, Jay Lefebvre’s daughter, it took approximately five days to transform the church into a winter wonderland. The results created an impressive holiday display including a winter village scene back drop, a 20-foot decorated Christmas tree, and even snowfall.
At the parties, children were entertained with games including a putting green, a battery operated pig race, and their own version of the Wheel of Fortune. Crafts were on hand as well as favorite characters including a photo opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Perhaps most exciting of all for some of the youngsters was that each child received a gift.
The main sponsor of the extravaganza is the Pomerleau family; Lefebvre worked for the Pomerleaus for over 40 years. According to Danaher, she and a Pomerleau family member met five years ago to brainstorm the idea of holding a Christmas party for children in honor of Lefebvre. “I am the special events coordinator for Community Bible Church and I presented the idea to our pastors as a community outreach for kids who may need a little extra joy this year, and to include everyone, because that was how my mother was, she didn’t have much, but what she had she gave to others,” Danaher said.
Five years ago, there were no more than 200 kids who attended the holiday party. This year, with ten times that many attendees, Jay’s Christmas Party is an institution and an inspiration to all. Danaher says of her mother, “She would be so pleased that this party is in her name.”