Donor Support “Completes the Scene” with Additions to the Newly Restored Nativity Display at Clara Barton Hospital

 November 27th, 2018 

During the Christmas season, it is a yearly tradition that a life-sized nativity scene be positioned on the front lawn of Clara Barton Hospital, illuminated for by-passers to admire. The nativity scene is a Christmas staple for many community members, and even those from out of town, who enjoy the beautiful display that represents the true meaning of the Christmas season. Although the nativity scene has always been a special part of the Christmas tradition throughout the Hoisington community, it wasn’t displayed for several years due to its deteriorated condition. Volunteers and donors restored the nativity scene pieces and put it back on display for the 2017 Christmas season. This year, thanks to additional generous donations, new pieces have been added to complete the Clara Barton Hospital nativity scene collection. 

The nativity scene project was originally facilitated and funded by the Hoisington Lutheran Hospital Association. Over the years, the scene was passed on to different organizations who agreed to take charge of the assembly of the nativity. Having a nativity display was a tradition almost as old as the hospital, but the tradition came to a halt over ten years ago when the nativity was stored and didn’t reappear until just last year.

“It was wonderful to see how much the community wanted to get involved,” said Clara Barton Hospital Foundation Director Michelle Moshier. “Many people looked forward to seeing the nativity scene around the holidays and when it wasn’t up it just felt as though something was missing.”

Many generous donors stepped up in 2017 and helped make the restoration possible. The figures were completely repainted by dedicated hospital employees and community volunteers. Thanks to their hard work, the scene was put on display around Thanksgiving last year in its iconic location on the hospital’s front lawn.

“Bringing the hospital’s nativity scene back to life was something our employees were passionate about,” said Clara Barton Hospital CEO Jim Blackwell. “It turned into a great team-building exercise, not only between employees, but with community volunteers as well. Everyone was dedicated to bringing this special Christmas tradition back to the community and spent over a hundred hours volunteering to do so.”

After last year’s restoration of the nativity scene, a considerable amount of interest was shown in adding the missing pieces to the scene. Over two dozen donations poured in to make the additions needed to complete the nativity set: a resting ox, two lambs (one resting, one standing), an angel, and a white nativity star.

Last year Bob and Denise Schreiber donated a baby Jesus figurine in memory of Bob’s parents, Richard and Mary Ann Schreiber. The Schreibers felt this was something his parents would have truly loved to see displayed again on the hospital lawn. For the second year in a row, Schreiber and his wife made a donation and dedicated a piece of the collection in memory of his parents. This year’s dedication was the newly purchased angel that hangs above baby Jesus in the manger.

The community rallied together and created a mounting pole to properly display the nativity’s new star. Roto-Mix is credited with donating the materials needed and the powder paint job while Kris Schneweis, at S&S Welding and Fabrication, manufactured and welded the sleeve mount for the pole.

“Without our community’s support, none of this would’ve been possible,” said Moshier. “I feel like our now completed nativity scene spreads joy and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. We can’t express enough gratitude to the people that made this happen and we hope our nativity will continue to be on display for years to come.”

The nativity scene display was first lit up this past weekend at the same time of the city’s Christmas lighting ceremony. If you haven’t already, be sure to drive by after dark and see how the life-size new additions have enhanced the nativity scene at Clara Barton Hospital.

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