by Kelly Rogge
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s oldest tradition is returning this week, honoring the holiday season while raising funds for scholarships at the same time.
The 92nd annual Candlelighting Ceremony is at 9 and 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, in the KCKCC Performing Arts Center on the main campus, 7250 State Ave. Classes will not be held during the 11 a.m. lighting, so that all personnel and students, who wish, can participate in the program. However, the Jewell Center, KCKCC Library and all offices will be open during those hours to serve individuals who choose not to participate in the ceremony.
“The purpose of this event is to celebrate the end of semester and the start of the holiday season,” said Linda Sutton, director of student activities at KCKCC. “It is also a good way to support student scholarships.”
All classes that are scheduled to begin at noon will start 10 minutes after the program has ended to allow students and faculty to time to get to their classrooms.
KCKCC faculty members started the Candlelighting Ceremony in 1923, the year KCKCC was founded. It remains the oldest tradition at KCKCC and serves as an opportunity for students, staff and faculty to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. During that first year, a collection was taken to fund student scholarships. This tradition has continued and over the years, more than $10,000 has been collected for student scholarships at KCKCC. Donations are free will, and members of the Student Senate will be at the doors to the performing arts center with red baskets to accept donations.
At both of the ceremonies, the KCKCC bands and choirs as well as theatre students will perform. There will also be a speaker, Ismael Garcia, at the 11 a.m. service. There is no speaker at the 9 a.m. service. Each service will conclude with holiday carols and the lighting of the candles.
“It’s a tradition that connects the college to its beginning 92 years ago,” Sutton said. “Many people from the community look forward and enjoy this event because they enjoy hearing the band, choir and theatre students. Many retired employees attend as well.”
For more information on the Candlelighting Ceremony, contact Linda Sutton at 913-288-7652 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.