By Conrad Dudderar
Members of the Canadian County Court Clerk’s Office are most definitely in the giving mood this holiday season.
Canadian County Court Clerk Marie Hirst and her 23 staff members have decorated all divisions of their office in Christmas themes as they help provide brighter holidays for those who are struggling.
“We’re raising money and collecting toys for the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner,” said Hirst, who is finishing her 12th year as district court clerk. “Our employees have each decorated their sets of desks in a competition. They’ve gone over and above the call of duty.
“They have donation containers at the counters for people to vote financially to raise money, besides the toys that we collect. Whoever raises the most money will win a prize.”
The court clerk’s office is on the first floor of the Canadian County Courthouse, 301 N Choctaw in El Reno. The public is invited to come visit and look for themselves.
Areas have been decorated in various themes, including favorite Christmas movies like A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Carol, Polar Express, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Other featured decorations are a gingerbread house, winter wonderland and Santa Claus.
This charitable effort started before Thanksgiving and continues until Christmas.
“This was a way for the employees to decorate the holidays and celebrate the joy of Christmas while helping others,” Hirst explained.
“This is our way to trying to keep everybody’s spirits up and encourage people.”
The court clerk is working with attorneys Edward and Robert Goldman of the Goldman Law Office in Oklahoma City on the Red Andrews’ charity effort.
“They are going to pick up all the toys we’ve collected so far,” Hirst said the Monday before Thanksgiving. “Right now, we probably have a car-load of toys.”
The court clerk’s office also plans to collect winter coats to keep people warm.
DOING THEIR PART … AGAIN
Normally, the Canadian County Court Clerk’s office has baked sales throughout the year to raise funds to help people in need around the holidays.
“Since COVID kind of shut everything down, we were trying to figure out a way we could help a needy cause,” Hirst explained.
One year, the court clerk’s staff helped a woman at the Canadian County CART House by buying clothes and Christmas toys.
Another year, they contributed to a county sheriff’s deputy whose house had burned down in a fire and whose vehicle was seriously damaged during an ice storm.
The office helped the single father of four children whose son had to have surgery.
“We also have been a $5,000 fundraiser for two years in a row for (the American Cancer Society’s) Relay for Life,” Hirst added.
A Christmas tradition since 1947, the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner provides warm meals and toys to about 7,000 citizens each year.
Canadian County residents unable to visit the court clerk’s office to support the Red Andrews Christmas giving effort may contribute through Cash App, Venmo or Pay Pal.
For more information, call the Canadian County Court Clerk’s Office at (405) 295-6100.