LAKEWOOD - The Women's Club of Lakewood will give area residents an opportunity to find the perfect holiday present during the annual Christmas in the Village.
The third annual event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, beginning at 10 a.m. in the village of Lakewood.
More than 20 businesses on Chautauqua Avenue and the Lakewood Memorial Library will participate in this year's event.
Rodney Anderson looks forward to many passengers for his horse-drawn wagon rides during Christmas in the Village on Saturday, Dec. 1.
According to Donna Simmons, WCL co-chair, the event began as a means to celebrate the holiday season.
In addition to offering plenty of shopping opportunities, Christmas in the Village will also open to the public the Busti-Lakewood Community Center. In the center will be free refreshments, 13 vendors and a bake sale. Free holiday cookies made by the WCL will be available, and wreaths and swags will be for sale as well. And, from 1 to 2 p.m. Santa will pay a visit.
"The vendors are giving back to the Women's Club of Lakewood by donating," said Joan Erickson, WCL co-president. "The money that we raise through vendors, basket drawings and wreath sales from our garden group goes to our scholarship fund and also to the library. As long as I can remember we've been doing the scholarship, and each year we try to increase the amount. It's given to students from the Southwestern district to use for continuing their education. Last year we gave out two scholarships, one to a male and one to a female, of $1,000 each."
Guests are encouraged to stop at the center first before shopping to pick up a word game sheet. Each merchant will have a Christmas-related word posted that shoppers will need to collect to win prizes. Winners of the drawings will be directed to pick up their prizes at the participating shops within two weeks of the event.
"Participating in the game gets people into each of the businesses," said Simmons. "Each merchant donates a prize, and this year I believe there will be 21 prizes to win."
There are several other events planned for the day. The Lakewood Memorial Library will be open until 2 p.m. and will feature a display of holiday books. It will also have a Christmas tree full of handmade embroidered holiday decorations created by members of the Chautauqua Region Embroiderers' Guild of America.
The village is planning horse-drawn wagon rides from 4 to 6 p.m. with a pick-up point at the community center. Plus, there will be a tree-lighting ceremony with Santa at Recognition Park at 5 p.m.
"New to this year's event is that we're going to have a free horse-drawn wagon that can carry up to 24 people at a time," said Simmons. "The wagon takes a particular route throughout the interior of the village of Lakewood."
According to Simmons, the WCL is the engine behind the event, but it wouldn't be possible without the cooperation of everyone in the community. Karen Dennerlein and Jennifer Wohler, last year's co-chairs, were instrumental in this year's celebration. Plus, Joe Johnson, Lakewood's village clerk, and Cheryl Johnson, chairperson of the garden group, were particularly helpful in planning this event. And, donations for the event were received from Wegmans, Sam's Club, Tim Hortons and Community Bank.
"It's a partnership between the WCL, the merchants, the village officials and the community," said Simmons. "It's one of the nice things about living in a community and being able to shop local. It's a festive atmosphere that brings people from the greater community together."
The Women's Club of Lakewood was organized in 1947 to attract energetic and dedicated women who enjoy social interaction, community service and mutual improvement. For more information call Simmons at 526-4234 or Becky Danielson, membership chair, at 763-5711.