By Jacque Cordle, Director, Marketing and Community Relations, Office of Institutional Advancement
The sights and sounds of a festive event, worthy of the best Christmas spirit, could be heard on July 15, 2023, at Pier 59 in Vincent, Alabama. The annual day-long event, this year held in memory of Jesika Kitchens, concluded with a live auction featuring vacation packages, sports memorabilia and specials from local favorites. Christmas in July raised over $106,000 to ensure that the students of Alabama School for the Blind, Alabama School for the Deaf and Helen Keller School of Alabama have a magical Christmas later this year, full of gifts and Christmas fun.
A core group of volunteers led by Tim and Rita Chiasson and Janet Swann, owner of Pier 59, as well as staff from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), begin preparations in January each year for the summertime event. By July, they are ready to host several hundred people who participate in a variety of events held at Pier 59. The event has raised over $450,000 to date.