Saturday night, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte’s Holiday at the Pops Concert kicked off the season with a bang. The show has been bringing the La Porte community together for the last 23 years in the spirit of the holidays and defining the beginning of the Christmas season for a community. The snowfall could not deter members of the La Porte community and surrounding area from streaming into the La Porte Civic Auditorium and embracing the spirit of the season together.
The event was entertaining as well as community focused, as the concert benefits the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte’s children-focused health and wellness initiatives, including Lil’ F.I.S.H. TM Club, Get Active, and other programs. The event, aside from community support, was also sponsored by Horizon Bank, General Insurance Services, NIPSCO, and more, proving the widespread support for the treasured holiday concert.
Maria Fruth, President and CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, could not have been more proud to see another year’s successful concert come to fruition.
“We are very excited, I always wish the weather would cooperate, but this is the 23rd year we’ve done this and it’s incredible to be a part of,” said Fruth. “It’s the opening of the holiday season for the community. This program is so warm and amazing, I just can’t express how much I appreciate the community and the committee that make sure this event goes so well every year.”
Attendees grabbed snacks and beverages to settle in for the show, finding their seats on the main floor or up above and taking in the ambience of the twinkling Christmas lights and festive atmosphere. Roughly 1,500 people were estimated to be in attendance between the floor level and balcony seating, and the show was sold out.
“I’ve been doing this a lot of years now and we always try to keep it fresh,” explained Liz Kaminski, Committee Chair and one of the principal people who planned the night’s event. “We always bring in new people and appreciate new minds and ideas. All the proceeds will go towards children as well. Some of our events sponsor cancer, but Holiday at the Pops is all about the children and their health and wellness. This is a big party and the people of La Porte and surrounding areas look forward to it every year to kick off the season.”
This enthusiasm was palpable in the room from attendees and performers alike, many of whom look forward to the event all year.
“I’ve been in the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra for 15 years now and came out from Crown Point. It’s worth the trip!” said Charles Mann, 3rd trumpet in the Orchestra. “It’s really a great community event, and it’s great to see as many people as we have here tonight.”
Performers included not just the Symphony Orchestra, but also several solo performers including the young and talented Saige Brumbaugh, Tom Coe, James Neary, Kaden Slay, and the Singing Company of La Porte Children’s Choir. Songs included classes like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Holy Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, as well as innovative medleys and new takes on old classics.
“I’m just so glad to be here and witness such a beautiful event. It’s always such a great show to be a part of,” said audience member, Stacy Carol.
Adrian Brumbaugh, mother of the child singing prodigy, Saige, was proud to be in attendance to see her daughter perform her breathtaking performance of Ave Maria.
“She’s been singing ever since she was a small child,” explained Brumbaugh. “I never thought she would like it because she can be so shy, but one day she said she wanted to perform in a kindergarten talent show and she’s been singing ever since.”
Each performance was met with raucous applause, and audience participation was encourage at several points as well with audience members singing along on a medley of many different classic Christmas songs. The night closed out with the audience being encouraged to hold the hands of those they loved and sing Silent Night together.
“It’s such a great time and we have such great talent here to celebrate what our community has to offer, it’s the 23rd year, and we are thrilled to be here,” said La Porte County Symphony Orchestra conductor, Philip Bauman. “It’s an event to touch your heart and even bring back some childhood memories.”
Without a doubt, the Holiday at the Pops Concert succeeded in its aims of bringing the community together for a truly beautiful series of performances, and making the holiday spirit come alive.