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Christmastime Event Brings Healing to Ross Township

The scene of a shooting tragedy in the Poconos has been transformed for the holiday season.

Ross Township, Monroe County -- A Christmas carol and a touch of snow made hearts light at Ross Township Van Buskirk-Haney Community Park. Organizers held a community tree lighting. While this is the fifth year for the Christmastime event, it's the first since a deadly summer shooting rampage. Why let one person's rage dominate a community. It's time that we come over and overtake that with kindness and goodness and compassion for each other, said Ross Twp. Parks and Recreation Committee member Dave Dion.

Three crosses outside the Ross Township Municipal building remember the victims killed on that horrible August night when a gunman opened fire. Now four months later, children who've been shielded from the tragedy came for a joyous occasion. That innocence, that naiveté can really help bring healing to the adults, too," said Mr. Dion.

While the caroling and tree lighting were the major highlights, there were others. Benny the therapy dog was brought in to provide his own brand of comfort. "That can fill a lot of holes that, um, in people's hearts to bring healing," said Mr. Dion. Children also got to meet Santa and enjoy some treats. Kathryn Cleveland of Sciota brought her grandchildren. "We have two little granddaughters who were here and it's nice to see them enjoying that kind of thing," she said. Enjoying the spirit of the season in a community that deserves some holiday joy.

Officials had the Ross Township meeting room renovated following the August shooting tragedy. Monthly township supervisors' meetings will resume there in January.

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