‘Comfort & Joy’

Published 9:48 pm Monday, December 22, 2014

POWELLSVILLE – It was a evening that featured “tidings of comfort and joy.”

Ahoskie’s WRCS-AM Radio and the Rountree Temple of Praise in Powellsville sponsored “ChristmasFest 2014” at the church located on Moore Town Road.

The event was the highlight of a special toy drive sponsored by the station and the church to collect toys for needy children that would later be donated to and distributed by the Hertford County Department of Social Services.

“We collected over 600 toys at last count,” said event organizer Na’Tesha Giddings, who also works at the radio station. “That’s going to mean a happy Christmas Day for some children who probably weren’t expecting much from Santa.”

Giddings said she first pitched her idea to WRCS General Manager, Bishop J.C. Watford, who is also pastor of Rountree Temple Church of God in Christ.  Watford was not only excited about the idea, he got several of his radio announcers involved.  Telephone calls were made to various businesses in the Roanoke-Chowan area with requests to donate services to a raffle drawing that would be held at the end of the show, and then it was time to solicit participation from various music and dance groups in the area.

Concert-goers were asked to bring a toy to place under the Christmas tree.  On the evening of the show, the church was more than three-quarters full and there was hardly any room under the tree.

Among the participants were two praise dance groups: The Children of Praise from Calvary Baptist Church in Ahoskie, and the Angelic Praise Dancers from Rountree Temple.

Musical performers included the Golden Harmoneers of Mapleton, New Generation of Ahoskie, Clint Freeman & Unity from Colerain, and gospel soloist Takeyla Hall-Taylor of Ahoskie.

“We were also supposed to feature musician Tyrone “Mighty Ty” Ruffin of Ahoskie,” Giddings said.  “However, he was a late cancellation due to a prior commitment.”

Carrie Crowe and Watford were Masters of Ceremonies for the event, beginning in the late afternoon with the groups performed until late into the evening.

Following the dance and music there was a raffle of services donated free to the winners from area beauty and barber businesses.  It included haircuts from The Barber Shop on Railroad Street in Ahoskie; to ladies’ wash-and-sets from a trio of Ahoskie beauty shops: Salon-21, Signature Styles, and Beauty Creations.

Later that evening, the toys were all gathered to be taken to DSS for distribution.

“This is what Christmas is really about,” said Watford, as he closed the ceremonies.