Christmas is only eight weeks away and the folks at Rush County Twisted Christmas have been busy little elves getting plans in place for their annual Christmas event for the youth of Rush County. This non-profit organization was formed in 2018 when a group of family members and friends saw a need for the spread of Christmas cheer for the younger members of our community. “Our family has four generations that just love Christmas and we wanted to give back to our community,” Rhonda Hornaday, president of the organization, stated.

In past years, multiple fundraiser events have taken place in order to have the funds to be able to provide Christmas gifts for the youth of Rush County. With this year being unlike any before, many of those events have been canceled or altered. “Without these other fundraisers, we have had to do things a little differently this year,” Hornaday stated. The organization, fortunately, has been able to replenish some of those Christmas funds by hosting a car wash, numerous Street Blitzes, and with the help of the City of Rushville, their successful event, the recent Haunted Trail. “There is no way we could have pulled off the month-long Haunted Trail without all of our volunteers and the generous sponsorship from the City of Rushville, the Street and Park departments, as well as the Rushville Police Department ,” she states.
Last year this group of family, friends and volunteers were able to provide Christmas gifts for approximately 263 children here in Rush County. “We think the need will probably be higher this year,” states Hornaday, “and we are ready to help those who are in need.” Like years before, there is an application process for Christmas assistance. For one day only, on Saturday, Nov. 21st, they will be accepting applications from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Danny and Linda Mathews Shelter House in Laughlin Park, located in the West End Park. The application requirements are photo ID for adults in the home, household income verification and the wants and needs for the children in the home.

The organization still has one more fundraiser before “Santa comes” for these families. On Nov. 27, they will hold their 7th Annual Black Friday Twisted Christmas benefit which is sponsored by Twisted Sisters Bar. The event will begin with a benefit ride at 1 p.m. and will feature an auction and live entertainment with band “Strange Brew.” All proceeds from this event will benefit Rush County Twisted Christmas. “It really is your everyday folks that come to these events and donate and make this all possible for these kids,” Hornaday shares. “It really is the community that makes these numbers happen.”

Individual donations, as well as donations from businesses, are accepted and very much appreciated. Those donations can be dropped off at Twisted Sisters Bar, during business hours, mailed to 522 N. Harrison Street in Rushville or even taken to BMO Bank and directly donated to Rush County Twisted Christmas. New auction items are also welcomed for their Black Friday fundraiser and can be delivered to Twisted Sisters Bar too. “The whole team of volunteers, as well as those who give, truly make this Christmas event happen. It is so rewarding and the highlight of the Christmas season for all of us,” Hornaday states.