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For years, the Neligh Young Men’s Club has been known for their community-wide events such as Old Mill Days and Easter egg hunt. However, two of their favorite events come with plenty of holiday spirit.
One of those events is the annual distribution of stocking caps. For nearly a decade now, the Young Men’s Club has met at West Ward Elementary School in Neligh to give the students stocking caps and gloves as the temperatures drop in December.
“Jason Schindler started it and we did the entire grade school,” explained Adam Mortensen, the current chairman for the event. “When we started it, we did the whole grade school and then decided to do just pre-schoolers.”
One of the highlights of the day for Mortensen is the excited reactions from the kids.
“They think its pretty cool. They’re actually more excited about the candy cane,” Mortensen quipped. “They like us coming. They’re always excited to see anyone new.”
The hat distribution isn’t the only way that NYMC spreads cheer during the holiday season. Each year, the group invites the public to join them for an evening of caroling throughout town.
“When it started, it was just guys wanting to get together to spread the spirit,” Mortensen recalled. “It started with on a flatbed trailer and some hay bales. It’s morphed into using (Jeff) Hixson’s camper and now the Smith boys are nice enough to borrow us their bus.”
The group now decorates that bus each year and cruises around town with Christmas music blaring from the speakers of the bus, hoping to bring some holiday joy to Neligh residents. However, they don’t want it to just be the club enjoying the night.
“Anybody is more than welcome to come. We’re an open club. Besides being a male to be a member, we like to open it up to anybody that wants to partake in community pride and spread community togetherness,” said Mortensen.