Loveworks Leadership's Winter Wonderland event benefits the program's after-school programs 

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Not many fondly recall their awkward preteen years, but one Norman organization seeks to change that.

Experience holiday spirit for a good cause this season at nonprofit Loveworks Leadership’s first Winter Wonderland community event happening 5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday at its Loveworks Center, 127 W. Main St., in Norman. The seasonal event features a carnival with family-friendly activities and a concert by Maggie McClure and Shane Henry. Proceeds fund the Norman-based nonprofit’s mission to help middle-school students become motivated leaders.

“We’re calling it a holiday extravaganza,” said Michael Hirsch, Loveworks executive director. “It’s going to be an entertaining time that also provides people with the opportunity to get involved with what we’re doing for the community.”

Loveworks Leadership provides after-school programs that focus on community and career options for middle-school students and celebrates its sixth year in February. Loveworks believes in action and productivity to fill the after-school hours. Hirsch and his nonprofit team address issues through research on how to fill missing extracurricular gaps in education.

“Especially in middle school, if a student isn’t involved in a sport after school, there just aren’t many extracurricular opportunities,” Hirschn said. “When you add technology like laptops, iPads and social media to those after-school hours, you run the risk of a lot of sedentary preteens.”

Loveworks offers a variety of programs to help adolescents realize their potential.

“Leadership Concepts is experiential-based learning for students where they choose from a list of opportunities,” Hirsch said. “Students can learn about culinary arts, architecture, dance, business and a wide range of other opportunities with hands-on experiences from our partners.”

Many facets of the metro community show support for Loveworks’ cause. Radio station Magic 104.1 sponsors Loveworks’ inaugural Winter Wonderland event celebrating the success and future of the nonprofit’s mission.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide an event that’s designed for the entire community,” Hirsch said. “It’s going to be an unforgettable experience for anyone that attends.”

Among the crafts, activities and entertainment, guests can partake in hot chocolate and hors d’oeuvres, bounce around in 30 different inflatables, enjoy indoor snow or create personalized stockings and ornaments.

“Every person that attends will be able to leave with something they enjoy,” Hirsch said.

Hirsch said husband-and-wife duo Maggie McClure and Shane Henry’s music possesses a universal appeal that everyone can enjoy.

“Maggie and Shane perform separately and as a duo, and at Winter Wonderland, they will play music from a Christmas album they released last year,” Hirsch said.

He hopes Winter Wonderland will ultimately draw more support for Loveworks’ greater cause.

“Hopefully, at the end of the night, we can draw more people and families to Loveworks and our mission,” Hirsch said.

Loveworks will continue to enhance Oklahoma communities. Hirsch said the nonprofit will expand beyond its original location next year.

“We’re expanding our program outside Norman,” he said. “We’re creating new entrepreneurial initiatives, but most importantly, we’re increasing ways our young students can contribute to the community.”


Print headline: Winter works, Loveworks Leadership hopes to draw students to its after-school programs with its holiday celebration.


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