November 2015
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

IOOF holds Christmas party for Namaqua Kids

Christmas was in the air at the Loveland Odd Fellows on Saturday. The IOOF members and their families were playing host to children from the Namaqua Center’s home based Foster adoptive kinship program.

George Mayhew entertains little brother Jackson while dad helps with the festivities.

The local lodge prepared a meal for the children and their families along with dance lessons, games and prizes. Of course, Santa and gifts were part of the program too.

Josh Rabe, directory of this part of Namaqua’s program say he works with local organizations to sponsor these events, thus stretching the thin resources available to him. The home based program tries to keep children in their families; sometimes this requires grandparents to become adoptive parents.

IOOF member David Mineo, of Berthoud Dance Company, leads the kids in dancing while Santa looks on.

The approximately 40 children who attended the event at the IOOF building on Fourth Street enjoyed the experience.

Meanwhile, downstairs, the volunteers of Help-portrait were taking and printing family photographs. Consisting of some professionals and some advanced amateur photographers, this relatively new group was doing it first event in Loveland. According to the organizations Web site, “Help-Portrait is a community of photographers coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.”

A Help-portrait family photo session

Adding to the Christmas Spirit was the display of animated Elves in the front window of the IOOF building. It was reminiscent of the days when the J.C. Penney store occupied the site in the era of elaborated window displays. According to Toby Brungartdt, the elves came to Loveland from Germany in the 1940’s or 50’s and were on display at the First National Bank Building at Fourth Street and Cleveland Avenue. The eventually graced the windows of the Rialto Theater, but had not been used for over a decade. The figures had been stored by the Loveland Historical Society. Mike Perry, president of the historical society contacted the IOOF about displaying the historic figures and they agreed.

Some of the elves in the window display

Brungardt said that the figures had seen some tough times and needed a great deal of repair. He managed to get all cosmetically repaired and all but one in working mechanical order. You can see them at the IOOF building in the 300 block of Fourth Street. Brungardt said that the Odd Fellows will store the figures and keep them in good order.

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