Thursday, November 23, 2023

Dustin’s Delivers Christmas Program Returns for the 4th Year

Dustin’s Adventureland is thrilled to usher in the holiday season with the return of the 4th Annual Dustin’s Delivers Christmas program. 

Spearheaded by the organization's President, Jeffrey Dunkel, the initiative has grown each year, and 2023 is poised to continue the tradition.

The last day to register is Friday, November 24th, 2023.  

"The way the economy continues to have a major impact on families in the County, the need has drastically increased from the 1st year for sure," said Dunkel, the organizer who dons the Jolly Old Man persona himself on Christmas Eve.

Dustin’s Adventureland collaborates with St. Patrick’s Kitchen for this festive event, consistently providing over 1000 meals annually between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These meals are either delivered to doorsteps or placed in community areas of high rises.

Over the past three years, the program has distributed gifts worth over $10,000 to more than 150 children in 13 municipalities. Additionally, meals and gifts have been extended to employees and residents of local nursing homes.

The event's inaugural sponsor, Aaron’s, continues to play a pivotal role, with GM Chester Evans, an original co-organizer, and a member of Dustin’s Board of Directors. Evans expressed the importance of community support, stating, "At Aaron’s, we feel it is important to give back to our community, especially in a time when everyone is struggling to make ends meet this holiday season."

The program covers various areas, including Pottsville, Minersville, Mount Carbon, Palo Alto, Port Carbon, Saint Clair, Mechanicsville, Seltzer, Marlin, New Minersville, Norwegian Twp, East Norwegian Twp, and Schoentown. Families with children aged newborn to 12 years old in need of assistance can sign up through the Dustin’s Adventureland Facebook page.

New sponsors, Dollar General Warehouse of Pottsville, have injected a substantial boost into the initiative with a generous donation of $3,500. With significant commitments from both Aaron’s and Dollar General Warehouse, Dunkel felt more confident in pushing forward with the program for its 4th year.

Various businesses, including Sughr Cupcakes Minersville, Aarons of Pottsville, 5 Star Heating and Air Llewellyn, and Glow Massage and Esthetics Pottsville, have joined forces with Dustin’s Adventureland as drop-off locations.

The importance of the meals component is underscored, especially with rising food costs. St Patrick’s Kitchen Director emphasized the significance of providing a warm, nutritious meal during the holidays, stating, "As we have done for the past 3 years, St. Patrick’s Pottsville Area Kitchen is happy to be partnering with Dustin’s Adventureland to provide holiday meals to the families of children receiving gifts from Santa, as well as those in need who may be homebound or without family."

St Patrick’s Kitchen expresses gratitude to Mrs. Barb Koch and Koch’s Turkey Farm for their generous donation of turkeys for the third consecutive year and to Amazon MDT9 in Tremont for donating $1,000 to cover remaining costs.

Dunkel acknowledges the village that supports this endeavor, thanking those who have made monetary donations, baked holiday desserts, and cookies, emphasizing the abundant Christmas spirit in Schuylkill County.

For inquiries, donations, or to volunteer, contact Jeff at 570-527-6040 or via email at Interested individuals can also visit their Facebook page for sign-up links.

The success of this event wouldn't be possible without the support of sponsors, including Amazon Tremont Warehouse, Koch’s Turkey Farms, Tom Landers Tax & Financial, O’Connor Family, Gina Gargano, 5 Star Heating and Air, Explore Schuylkill, Roshannon Financial, JP and Barb Powers, Hexcel, and Mahanoy Prison.

On behalf of Dustin’s Adventureland and St Patrick’s Kitchen, the organizations extend warm wishes for a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and look forward to bringing another Very Merry Christmas to many families this year.