Church tradition raises money for hospice

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Esther Short — For more than 165 years, St. James Catholic Church has decked its halls for the Christmas celebration. Adorned with red poinsettias on the historic altar, today it is every bit as lustrous at Christmastime as it was all those years ago. It is traditional at St. James for individual families to furnish the flowers to decorate the altar. The flowers were purchased from Friends of Hospice, which sells poinsettias as a fundraiser. This year, the church donated $1,000 to hospice to help support the Ray Hickey House. On Dec. 22, seven volunteers from the church’s Altar Society cleaned, decorated and assembled the manger scene to make sure the church was ready for the Christmas season.