There's no denying that Valerie Linenberger has a big heart. Now the downtown merchant is directing her energies to helping those less fortunate and bringing joy to others at Christmastime.
Linenberger, who owns True Betty Boutique at 108 North Santa Fe Avenue, is organizing a non-denominational Caroling Festival for downtown Salina. The festival is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. on Dec. 21.
"I'm doing this because I always loved listening to Christmas carolers as a kid. There aren't many places people can carol anymore and have a lot of people enjoy. Downtown Salina is a perfect place to do just that! The acoustics are phenomenal and I really want to bring the community together. Politics have been so disheartening this year and I want people to feel a sense of community and joy," Linenberger told Salina Post.
"Churches, individuals, friends, co-workers and classmates can gather together for a 20-minute performance!" Linenberger wrote in a Facebook post.
Groups will be staged throughout downtown. Instead of singing for tips, carolers will each have a box set up to receive canned goods, personal hygiene items, toys, etc., for their parishioners or to donate to other nonprofits. For the closing song of the festival, everyone downtown will join hands to sing the final song together, according to a flier about the festival.
"My New Year's resolution this year was to choose joy in all that I do. I've tried to do that all year and this event will be a great event to celebrate joy!" Linenberger told Salina Post. "Plus, gathering food and supplies for those less fortunate will provide joy to so many more!"
Groups interested in performing are asked to contact Linenberger at 785-820-6400 or via email at [email protected]. Additionally, other downtown merchants who would like to have groups in front of their businesses are asked to contact Linenberger as well.