By Frank Lewis
November 13, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Time flies when you’re having fun, and fun and inspiration in the form of the Sonshine School of Evangelism’s Christ Gift to Portsmouth program is what the evening is all about and has been for 20 years.
“Twenty years. Isn’t that wild?” evangelist, author, teacher and radio personality Dr. James Spinnati, of Sonshine School of Evangelism, said. “Twenty years of quality entertainment.”
The show is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University and admission is free. Spinnati said free tickets are available at the McKinley Box Office; WNXT; Ace Hardware in Portsmouth and Wheelersburg; Desco Federal Credit Union; Praises Book Store; Larry Moore Trophies & Sports; Tim Horton’s; Carey’s Run Church of Christ; Quincy Church of Christ in Quincy, Kentucky; Dawgbyte Productions and Dawgbyte Computer Service in Proctorville, Ohio.
This year’s entertainment will include Joy Jones and the Jones Boys, Art & Jeff Bush and Tracy Tooley, pianist Steve Foster, Shaina McDonald of Hershey, Pa. and Danny Bentley. Another important part of the program is the presentation of community service awards.
“We do this just to make a difference in the community, to give back to the community,” Spinnati said. “Twenty years, and just think, we’ve honored 41 people. These are people who have done an outstanding job in our community, and hopefully will continue to make a difference.”
A show with a wide variety of entertainment from inspirational music to comedy tunes and skits, the Christmas Gift to Portsmouth has long been an important part of the community’s Christmas celebration.
“We’re just trying to do something nice for the community where somebody is not getting their pockets picked, where they’re not asking for money or begging for something,” Spinnati said.
Spinnati said last year’s extravaganza ran into financial trouble when a couple of the show’s business sponsors pulled out.
“Our business support just evaporated,” Spinnati said. “It was kind of hard getting through it, but we made it.”
He said Southern Ohio Medical Center and Desco Federal Credit Union stepped up to help make this year’s show possible.
Concert information is available by calling 740-354-3665, 740-351-3600 or 740-357-0069.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.