Producer of the “Light of the World” community Christmas program, Terri Gauthier, welcomes the audience with Master of Ceremonies Kirk Ellender. RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn – For The Record

The Grinch may have stole Christmas but Bridge City police and firefighters may have stole the show. After eight years the ‘Light of the World’ community Christmas program returned to a packed house at Bridge City High School on Thursday. Bridge City’s first responders along with “Sparky the Fire Dog” performed a riotous rendition of “Jingle Bells” that was stunning in hilarity.

It was all part of Project GLOW’s 2015 Light of the World Christmas program. The show is organized and produced by Bridge City councilwoman and business owner Terri Gauthier. In 2008 Hurricane Ike ended the much anticipated Christmas program until Gauthier ushered it back in this season.

"Go Light Your World" was sung by Kayla Foster of the Cardinal Singers. RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

“Go Light Your World” was sung by Kayla Foster of the Cardinal Singers. RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

“The community support was overwhelming,” Gauthier said.  The event raised $3,420 for the Bridge City-Orangefield Ministerial Alliance. Four hundred chairs were filled leaving standing room only in the school auditorium.

As always, talent for the 2015 program came from here in the community. Master of Ceremonies was longtime school board member and past president Kirk Ellender.

The show opened with “The Grinch” performed by the Bridge City High School drama department. Next, Amy’s Elite Dance Force dazzled the audience with “Shake Santa Shake.” The Bridge City Middle School Choir sang two carols, “Born Today is the Holy Child” and “A Merry Christmas to You.”

The show included a martial arts demonstration by the Tiger Rock Competition Team. The team performed “You Can’t Catch Me I’m the Gingerbread Man.” The performers from Amy’s Elite Dance Force returned for “Run Run Rudolph.” Then, toy soldiers came alive in the award winning BCHS Strutters’ performance of  “Toy Soldier.”

Members of the Bridge City Police Department and Bridge City Volunteer Fire Department perform their rendition of "Jingle Bells." RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

Members of the Bridge City Police Department and Bridge City Volunteer Fire Department perform their rendition of “Jingle Bells.” RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

  But it was a new twist on an old favorite, “Jingle Bells,” that surprised attendees. Members of the Bridge City Police Department and the Bridge City Volunteer Fire Department did a never-seen-before version of the classic Christmas carol. Flashing lights, a choreographed dance routine and an appearance by Sparky the Fire Dog was well worth the $5 admission.

According to Gauthier, Sandy Shugart choreographed the “Jingle Bells” routine but the Bridge City police and firefighters added their own flair. Performing in the routine was volunteer firefighters James Fisette, Tammie Fisette, Mike Garza, Bertha Garza, Adam Bowman, Buddy Hanks, William Bacon and Kirby Denton. Police officers included Brad Frye and Ronnie Denton.

The BCHS Drama Dept. did a skit called “A Birthday Party For Jesus.” The Bridge City Fifth Grade Honor Choir sang, “The Greatest Gift is Me,” “Peace Be With You” and “I’m Happy That Christmas is Here.” Studio C Dance Academy performed “Silent Night.” Amy’s Elite Dance Force did “What Child Is This.”

BCHS drama students had two performances in the "Light of the World" program. They performed "The Grinch" and seen here in "A Birthday Party for Jesus." RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

BCHS drama students had two performances in the “Light of the World” program. They performed “The Grinch” and seen here in “A Birthday Party for Jesus.” RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

The Strutters returned to perform “Carol of the Bells.” It was followed by the Bridge City High School Cardinal Singers who sang “Mary Did You Know” and “Rudolph Christmas Medley.”

The program drew to a close with a performance by BCHS Cardinal Singer Kayla Foster with the song “Go Light Your World.” The show’s finale came with a scripture reading from Kirk Ellender who sang “Emmanuel” on acoustic guitar.

Kirk Ellender closes out the show with an acoustic solo "Emmanuel." RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

Kirk Ellender closes out the show with an acoustic solo “Emmanuel.” RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

“I would definitely want to do the show again next year,” Gauthier said, “Hopefully it will become an annual part of a Bridge City Holiday Weekend.”

Gauthier expressed appreciation to area businesses that accounted for over $1,000 in proceeds.

The Bridge City-Orangefield Ministerial Alliance is a non-profit organization that serves the local community through providing financial assistance to indigent families as well as food, clothing, shoes, and medical assistance, says Gauthier. The Ministerial Alliance operates through donations and special projects such as “The Light of the World” presentation.

“Project GLOW is about being ‘Light’ in our world,” she said. “Our city is so good about coming together to help others who are going through bad times, and giving to those that are less fortunate.”

The dancers for Studio C Dance Academy are seen here performing "Silent Night." RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

The dancers for Studio C Dance Academy are seen here performing “Silent Night.” RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

"The Best Gift is Me" is being sung by Kamri Swarers, Chrislyn Burch, and Madison Juneau from the Bridge City Middle School Cardinal Choir. RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

“The Best Gift is Me” is being sung by Kamri Swarers, Chrislyn Burch, and Madison Juneau from the Bridge City Middle School Cardinal Choir. RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

The Bridge City Strutters make toy soldiers come alive in the dance routine "Toy Soldier." RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

The Bridge City Strutters make toy soldiers come alive in the dance routine “Toy Soldier.” RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn