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DMACC hosts second annual Holiday Celebration

For one night of the year, DMACC’s Newton campus transforms into a Christmas wonderland featuring a life-sized gingerbread house, a visit from Santa Claus and carolers. The second annual Holiday Celebration drew in hundreds of DMACC students and their families Tuesday night.

Jody Stiles, an academic advisor at DMACC, has brought her two daughters both years of the event. As her daughters Sadie and Sidney placed gumdrops and peppermints onto the gingerbread house with frosting, it was a reminder how different departments of DMACC came together to make the event happen.

“I think it’s fun to get the community involved in different things we do,” Stiles said. “It shows off our culinary arts program and the things that and our building trades program.”

The culinary arts department worked on baking the gingerbread for three weeks, and the building trades program built the gingerbread house, along with an area for kids to visit Santa Claus.

“It’s a joyous time for our students, but it’s also a stressful time for our students with finals coming up,” DMACC Newton Provost Joe DeHart said. “A lot of our students have families and so it’s a good night for our families to come out, and it’s stress free.”

DeHart said the event has extra stations with food, a movie and for coloring.

Also new this year was the Jasper County Animal Rescue League bringing pets up for adoption. Students who are a part of the building trades career academy built miniature dog houses and cat palaces.

“Whoever adopts an animal gets a dog house or a cat palace,” DeHart said. “Hopefully some animals will have a new home.”

The staff and faculty who volunteer and give back have looked forward to the event all year long.

“It’s nice to see our students outside of the classroom and meet their spouses and their children,” DeHart said. “It helps us come together as a campus.”

Kathy Sylvester, DMACC public services specialist, started at the end of October re-confirming events from last year and expanded the space.

“This is our second event, and last year our culinary arts instructor came up with the idea to make the gingerbread house and have kids decorate it,” Sylvester said. “It has just developed from there with different clubs who have said they want to do this or that.”

The students have also taken initiative and held a book drive and received new and old books over the last few weeks.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet everyone and to come in and see the facility and see what it’s all about, and it’s a good time for students to give back,” DeHart said. “DMACC wants to be a part of the community and this is a good outreach program.”

Contact Kayla Singletary at
641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or

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