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The Good Samaritan's Good Samaritan
Dana Foods matches employees contributions to thrift store/food pantry
steve baller david prechel
Good Samaritan Board member Steve Baller (left) accepts a Christmas contribution check from Dave Prechel, founder/owner of Dana Foods. The total amount of $2,680 was the result of employee donations to the thrift store and food pantry that were matched by Dana Foods. - photo by Jack Knowles photo

As usual, the small town charm and friendliness that turns our town into the perfect example of the spirit of Christmas can be found right here in Hillsboro.

It’s more than’s a way of life!

Last week, the Sentry Enterprise was proud to take a picture at the Dana Foods office that pretty well sums up the generosity of the people of Hillsboro.

A short while back, Dave Prechel, the owner of Dana Foods, asked his employees to participate in a Christmas charity challenge by donating a monetary gift to the Good Samaritan. In return, Dana Foods would match the total amount in its own contribution to the thrift store and food pantry on Mill Street.

The response was overwhelming and last week the Sentry-Enterprise was delighted to photograph Steve Baller, a board member and long-time volunteer at the Good Samaritan, accepting a check for $2,680 from Mr. Prechel on behalf of Dana Foods and a very generous group of employees.

Of course, the contribution to one of Hillsboro’s worthiest charities that makes a big difference in the lives of hundreds, is just one of many Christmas stories throughout the area every year at this time.

Hillsboro’s Christmas traditions

Among the most enjoyable Christmas traditions are the annual concerts by the High and Junior High Schools, along with the Elementary School’s presentation.

I’ve been told that the Elementary musical programs are the most attended attractions in town, topping even the Graduation Ceremonies!

This year was no exception, with parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and neighbors packing the HHS gymnasium to hear a number of traditional songs, including many from foreign countries.

Of course, Santa Claus found time for his usual stop in Hillsboro, visiting local children and talking about their Christmas dreams for two hours on a Sunday afternoon.

One young boy risked the famous “lump of coal” in his stocking when he sat on Santa’s lap wearing a very humorous sweater that suggested, “Santa, save time, skip my sister!”

No doubt, after laughing until his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly, Santa made a note to bring the sister a nice gift.

This year, a new tradition was enjoyed by many. The St. Joseph’s Foundation played host to a Christmas House Walk on a Saturday afternoon that included visits to five lovely homes in the area that were beautifully decorated for the season.

There were many other special events that were enjoyed by those who love the Christmas season, and all that comes with it.

 One of the best Christmas gifts given to the area was from Community Antenna’s  Greg and Randy Kubarski, who helped restore lighting to the beloved Hillsboro Star that has been sponsored by the Lions Club for many years.

After an “emergency call” the star that had gone dark once again lighted the way to the true meaning of Christmas that is depicted on the hill overlooking the Hillsboro Lake every year.

If you want to experience a wonderful insight to the first Christmas, look for it across the lake on your way to candlelight services on Christmas Eve.

That star signifies everything that is really important about Christmas.