ShareThis Page

Tradition lights up the night in Mt. Pleasant

| Friday, Nov. 25, 2011

A holiday tradition for many years, the Mt. Pleasant Community Light-Up marks the beginning of the Christmas season for the borough, as it celebrates the official lighting of the area's only life-size Nativity scene.

Starting at 7 p.m. Sunday, area residents will witness an event that is a holiday favorite for many generations.

"This is something that both little kids and big kids look forward to every year," said Cindy Underwood, Mt. Pleasant Nativity Committee chairwoman.

Although parts of the program or the Nativity scene statues may have changed over the years, the event — a Mt. Pleasant tradition for more than 50 years — has remained the same and is something revered by many.

"I had a guy get in touch with me this year," Underwood said. "He used to help with the Nativity years ago when he was in high school. He moved away, but now he moved back to Pennsylvania and he called me to tell me that he is coming and bringing his children. He also said that now that he is back, he wants to help, and plans to volunteer with the Nativity scene next year."

To begin the night, Christmas carols, led by the choirs of St. Pius and Visitation churches, will be performed.

"After they are finished, Jerry (Lucia) will introduce me, then Father Rick (Kosisko) will bless the crib," Underwood said, adding that after the blessing, the Nativity will be lighted.

The event will then switch to the gazebo, where Santa will distribute treat bags to all the waiting children.

The Mt. Pleasant Catholic Church Youth Ministry creates the treat bags from donated items that Underwood gathers every year.

"Everything in the bags is donated," Underwood said, explaining that none of the funding collected is used for the treat bags. The funds are used for the Nativity.

The Nativity Committee sets out cans throughout the community for donations and is also supported by groups.

"We are supported by several churches, social clubs and Dr. Greg Wilson has also really become a big supporter over the last three years," Underwood said.

Underwood said she receives donations in the mail every year, too, and it is not unusual for them to be accompanied by a personal note or letter.

"I'll get letters in the mail every year with 20 or 25 dollars in them," Underwood said. "They will sometimes have little notes in them telling me thanks or telling me what an asset the Nativity is to the town."

Underwood has been chairwoman of the event for 16 years. She works with a small committee, but plans to continue the tradition as long as she can.

"I do this for the community, for the kids," Underwood said. "This is something that everyone looks forward to and it's an event that I really hold dear to my heart."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.