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The Bell Tones helped The Center for Rural Development celebrate the arrival of the holiday season this week with a special night of entertainment that culminated with a tree-lighting ceremony.

More than 100 people attended The Center’s “Spirit of Giving” community tree-lighting ceremony where the lights on an 18-foot artificial pine tree in the front lobby were turned on for the first time this holiday season.

The event, held Monday, Nov. 26, included a holiday performance from the Bell Tones, a children’s choir from Bell Elementary School in Wayne County; ticket drawings and door-prize giveaways; and even a surprise visit from Santa Claus.

The choir, under the direction of Anita Carolyn Peters and Tammy Sumpter, entertained the crowd with a selection of holiday classics, including “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

The “Spirit of Giving” tree-lighting ceremony, which has become an annual holiday tradition at The Center, was hosted in partnership with Walmart.

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