June 12, 2018 – West Bend, WI – It was like Christmas in June at the Downtown West Bend Association on Monday as staff and Ramiro Paz with Thrivent Financial unwrapped pieces from the new nativity.
“Oh this is nice,” said Paz as he pulled the plastic wrap down to unveil the Joseph statue.
A semi arrived just after 10 a.m. with the delivery. A hand truck was used to remove three pallets of large cardboard boxes; each piece of the nativity was individually wrapped.
For the past few years the DWBA has been discussing the condition of the historic Amity Rolf’s nativity. The pieces date to the late 1960s. Spending Christmas season in the elements of harsh Wisconsin winters has taken a toll on the set and last year vandals destroyed the baby Jesus.
Donations were accepted to try and replace the figurine but then Thrivent Financial stepped forward to fund a new nativity.
“We’re very blessed and clearly with us being a Christian organization it’s part of what we do and this lines up with our values so we’re excited for the community,” Paz said.
Representatives from Thrivent Financial that contributed to the donation include: Lisa Senkbeil, Nikole Kohn, Paz and Peter Kapler.
“The nativity scene plays an important role in our community and wanted to do what we could to bring the replacement to fruition,” Lisa Senkbiel said.
Nikole Kohn said, “It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping at so many of our great downtown businesses, and this nativity scene provides a great visual that helps us all reflect on the purpose of Christmas.”
Peter Kapler added, “Thrivent Financial is an organization of Christian members, who seek to enhance our community and spread our mission of living generously by giving back to the people and communities that are important to us.”
There are 10 pieces in the life-size nativity. Some new items include a chicken in the manger and baby Jesus is attached to his crib.
The new nativity will be unveiled in November prior to the West Bend Christmas Parade.
The Amity Rolfs nativity will stay local. Discussions are underway with an area parish to put that nativity on display.