UNION — Courthouse employees in Monroe County have decided to change the focus of their annual Christmas dinner this year.

According to Chief Deputy County Clerk Jeremy Meadows, employees are determined to “be more community-oriented” as part of an effort to counter some unspecified “bad press.”

This year, Meadows said, the employees plan to pool their funds and “adopt” up to six children and two elderly people for Christmas, providing gifts to brighten the holiday season for those who might not otherwise have packages to open Christmas morning. All of the recipients will be from Monroe County, he noted.

Meadows said he expects an average donation from each employee of $10, with some giving more and some less. At that average level of giving, he said $470 would be collected from employees alone.

“Everybody is involved,” he said. “Everybody is excited about it.”

Adding to the festive atmosphere, following the annual Christmas dinner on Dec. 19, all in attendance will pitch in to wrap the gifts that have been purchased with those donations.

In announcing the shift in focus, Meadows asked the county commission to commit additional funding to the endeavor.

Commissioners agreed to match employee contributions up to a maximum of $600, as well as making individual contributions on the spot.

The courthouse Christmas dinner will be held at the Union Rescue building, with food catered by the Black Knight Club.

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Meadows also told commissioners that employees want to resume the tradition of holding an open house at the courthouse during the Christmas season.

Commissioners okayed an open house to be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, setting a $1,200 budget for refreshments.

— Email: talvey@register-herald.com

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