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CHRISTMAS WRAP

With Christmas just over two weeks away, Utahns are reaching out to others in many different ways.

- Christmas can be bleak for children with mental illness or who have parents with the disease.The Forgotten Patients program provides gifts for the children, who live below the poverty line. Most requested "needs" are basic survival clothing. "Wants" are simple, too: a fire truck or anything Barney, for instance.

Individuals can be adopted or donations made to the Utah Alliance for the Mentally Ill toy project. Volunteers will do the shopping.

For information, call Jan Harding, 484-7845.

- A Christmas "giving tree" at Valley Fair Mall includes the names, clothing sizes and wishes of needy children in Big Brothers/-Big Sisters of Greater Salt Lake.

Shoppers are invited to select one of the gift bags from the tree, fill the wish list and return it to provide help to children living in single-parent families.

The program ends Dec. 20.

- The "angel tree" at ZCMI Center operates on the same principle, sponsored by KUTV and the Salvation Army. In both cases, donors are encouraged to pick up a toy or two and an article of clothing. Co-sponsors include Arctic Circle, KISN 97 FM and Southwest Airlines.

- More than 250 low-income families with children who are considered at-risk enjoyed a free performance of The Nutcracker at the Capitol Theatre Thursday night.

The performance was sponsored by a grant from Salt Lake County Community Services and Economic Development.

- On Saturday, Dec. 10, The Embassy Suites Hotel will host its annual the Capitol Theatre Thursday night.

The performance was sponsored by a grant from Salt Lake County Community Services and Economic Development.

- On Saturday, Dec. 10, The Embassy Suites Hotel will host its annual "Primary Children's Holiday Celebration" for children who have cancer and their families.

More than 400 children attend each year. The event includes visits with Santa, a stocking full of goodies, lunch from Burger King and Golden Swirl and entertainment by Batman, Spiderman, Wally the Wizard, magicians, clowns and the M&M Candy Character.

- West High School's Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps will hold a Christmas party for 30 patients at the Veterans Administration Medical Center Saturday, Dec. 10.

Refreshments will be provided and the cadets are making cards and gathering presents.

The members, in grades 9-12, also collect winter clothes for the homeless. So far, they have delivered 200-300 pounds of warm clothing to Catholic Community Services.

- Nursing students from St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing are throwing a Christmas party for senior citizens at Neighborhood House Monday, Dec. 12, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The students have been conducting an ongoing service-learning program there, as well.

- Utah kids are gathering "Millions of Pennies" to raise money for the homeless. The campaign, held in conjunction with Bank One and X-96 Radio, is a competition among 11 high schools to see who can raise the most money for The Salt Lake Community Shelter and Resource Center.

The campaign will end Dec. 22.

- Children can have their photos taken with Santa Claus at the Factory Stores in Park City and benefit the Park City and Summit County Friends of the Animals at the same time.

Photos will be taken at the factory outlets' management office lounge from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17. All of the $3 charge will be donated to the organization.