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Aaron, Grinch, Santa bring Christmas to ACU

A winter storm watch was on the horizon for the upcoming weekend, but Mother Nature cooperated once again Monday night with a delightful early winter evening for Abilene Christian University’s second annual Mingle and Jingle Christmas celebration under the West Texas stars.
About 3,500 people, including more than 400 top high school seniors admitted for the Fall 2014 freshman class, enjoyed free hot chocolate and cookies, a concert by country music recording artist Aaron Watson (’00) and his band, holiday music from members of the ACU University Chorale, a showing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and a visit from Santa Claus. The crowd was about 1,000 larger than last year, when Watson performed an acoustic set of his latest music. The venue once more was the university’s front lawn, with the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building, Sowell Rotunda and Chapel on the Hill as a backdrop.
The Concert Chorale performed several a cappella Christmas songs and assisted Watson in leading the crowd in Silent Night. Admission was free, with many donating toys for local kids, to be distributed later this month by Love and Care Ministries.

Enactus, a student group at ACU’s College of Business Administration, organized a vendor fair featuring nonprofit organizations such as Eternal Threads, the Red Thread Movement, Disability Resources Inc., and Global Samaritan Resources. Sales of T-shirts benefitted the Lindsey Lee Smith Scholarship Fund. KTAB/KRBC TV and University Park Apartments were corporate sponsors for Mingle and Jingle, and the ACU Students’ Association made it possible for Santa’s space at the Jacob’s Dream sculpture site to glow with Christmas lights.