RACINE – The Community Christmas Coalition, a non-denominational group dedicated to keeping Christ in Christmas, is seeking volunteers to help construct a 40-foot Nativity display in Racine’s Monument Square, 10 a.m., this Saturday, Dec. 3. Volunteers will also be needed at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 7, to take down the set.

Volunteers are needed to help erect an outdoor nativity scene, similar to the one shown, in Racine on Dec. 3. (thinkstock.com)

Volunteers are needed to help erect an outdoor nativity scene – not the one pictured – in Racine on Dec. 3. (thinkstock.com)

With enough volunteers – at least seven, according to Bob Wortock, a coalition member who coordinates the display – set-up should take about an hour. However, volunteers are needed throughout the season.

“There’s this misnomer that it’s on the flatbed and not much work,” he said. “What we need to do is get volunteers who will take care of snow removal since the city doesn’t shovel out in front of the Nativity.”[su_pullquote align=”right”]Further information or to volunteer, call Bob Wortock at (262) 639-8820.[/su_pullquote]

Wortock, a Racine native and life-long resident, said the Nativity has the potential of uniting the city.

“I see the Nativity as something very simple, something to get people involved, where we could start to work together, where churches could work together,” he said.

There is something else Wortock would like to see grow out of the Nativity project.

“We’ve never had a community children’s Christmas program. It could be an ecumenical thing,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to do that from when we first put up the Nativity 12 years ago – to get a group of people to plan a community children’s Christmas program. That could pull this polarized neighborhood together.”

While there is no community program, Wortock said schools and churches are welcome to use the Nativity as a staging site for caroling or concerts.

“It’s there for them,” he said.

The Christmas Coalition also needs financial support – approximately $2,500 annually to cover the cost of fees, insurance and maintenance. Even though no one has ever vandalized the Nativity, Wortock said, the city requires the group to carry “terrorist insurance.”

“We pay $600 a year for insurance, and we’re insured for $30,000,” he said, noting it was difficult to find someone who would write the policy, which a Sheboygan agency eventually did.

Donations for the Christmas Coalition can be sent to Tri-City National Bank, 2704 Lathrop Ave, Racine, 53405.

Besides the request for volunteers and donations, and the development of a children’s Christmas program, the 76-year-old Wortock has one other hope.

“I hope more young people will get involved in the Nativity,” he said. “We need younger volunteers.”