MC Christmas concert to benefit local toy drive in dire need

  The community is invited to bring toys for this Sunday's "A Milligan College Christmas" concert to help area underprivileged children. The Christmas concert will be held at 8 p.m. in Seeger Memorial Chapel and will benefit the Haven of Mercy, a Christian homeless shelter and daily meal program in Johnson City, whose toy program is in dire need this Christmas.
  "Unless we receive several more toy donations, we will not be able to continue our toy program this year," said Bill Ingram, executive director of Haven of Mercy. "We rely solely on donations of others to keep our doors open. Many disadvantaged people in the area are not able to afford presents and do not have the basic staples for daily living that many people take for granted. We appreciate Milligan College for thinking of us and reaching out to the community through this Christmas concert."
  The Haven of Mercy handed out nearly 500 toys last year, and the ministry's meal program serves an average of 250 meals daily.
  "These children face so many obstacles each day. It is a tremendous blessing to see joy rather than worry on these kids' faces at Christmas," said Ingram.
  The community Christmas concert is free, but a donation of new toys, canned goods or toiletry items is requested and will be collected at the door. Tickets are required and can be picked up at the Milligan College Bookstore.
  "A Milligan College Christmas" will feature several carols performed by the Milligan Brass Choir, Orchestra, Concert Choir, Milligan Singers, and the East Tennessee Children's Choir, which is under the direction of Beth McCoy.
  Dr. Kellie Brown, chair of the music area, said, "This beautiful production captures the spirit of Christmas for the whole family through the opportunity to help those in need during the season and the joy of the Christmas music."
  At the evening's closing, the musical ensembles will invite the audience to join in singing favorite traditional hymns, followed by a special candle lighting ceremony.
  The doors to Seeger Chapel will open at 7:30 p.m. for seating. For further information, please contact the Public Relations Office at (423) 461-8764.