Christmas Spectacular proceeds will be used to help re-pave school’s parking lot

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When it comes to resurfacing the parking lot in front of Chilton County High School, students have taken matters into their own hands.

CCHS students will present a “Christmas Spectacular” beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at the school auditorium as part of their fundraising efforts for the parking lot project.

Blake Hudson, a senior at the school, organized the Spectacular. He compares it to the ever-popular Blast from the Past production, but the Spectacular, of course, will have a decidedly Christmas theme.

In addition to raising money, the Spectacular will provide valuable experience for Hudson.

“I’m looking at a career in something like directing performing arts,” he said. “We talked about doing a talent show, some other things. The best option was to do something similar to Blast, something we knew would bring in a good audience. Then, we figured, what better than Christmas.”

Hudson ran the idea by CCHS Principal Cynthia Stewart, who gave her approval.

Plans started being developed when school started in August, and by mid-September a cast of 60 students was in place.

About 100 students total are contributing in some way, a fact Hudson said he takes pride in.

Santa Claus will be present at the event for children’s photos, at a cost of $5.

Also, Hudson’s family cut down a 17-foot tall Christmas tree at their property in Verbena and decorated the tree in the lobby of the auditorium.

“It’s quite a spectacle,” Hudson said.

The show will entertain visually as well as audibly, as lighting effects will be used, and a large nativity scene is planned along with the performances.

Pieces will include traditional Christmas favorites and newer songs, including All I Want for Christmas is You, Jingle Bells, The Christmas Song and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Tickets will cost $6, and a limited number will be available at the door. More than 700 of the 1,000 available tickets have already been sold, Hudson said, equating to about $4,400 in proceeds.

“We’d like it to be a sold-out show,” Hudson said.

Also, a shortened version of the production was presented for students on Tuesday, and about 250 paid $2 each to attend.

The money raised so far isn’t enough to cover the $70,000 or so needed to resurface the parking lot, but it’s a start, and the funds could be used to search for any available grants that require a match by the applicant.

The parking lot effort is being driven by school Student Government Association President Mason Easterling, a close friend of Hudson’s (Hudson served as his campaign manager for the SGA election).

“We know it’s going to be a long run, but you have to take steps to get somewhere,” Hudson said. “We’ve met with senators, representatives. [The parking lot and auditorium] is used widely by the community. We want to be able to be proud when people drive into the school.”

For more information, call the school at 280-2710.