Holiday Write Night gains new coordinator, traditions still remain

Isabel Tuisl, Reporter

This year’s Holiday Write Night is the first without Dorothy Cochran, the recently retired coordinator. The new coordinator, Belinda Salutric, replaced Cochran, and is working with students and other DC workers to plan for a night of letter writing from Santa, for children kindergarten through third grade. The event is Dec. 5 from 4-7 p.m. at the SC Discovery Center.

“This is a team effort with the ladies in the DC,” Salutric said. “We are involving student council, National Honor Society and a number of other LT organizations and clubs to make Holiday Write Night a special event for the young children and their parents. We are still in need of more volunteer elves however, so if you would like to participate in Holiday Write Night please register on-line at”

Salutric, along with Mary Craggs and Janice Devereux, worked with Cochran in the Discovery Centers, Director of Technology Ed Tennant said.

“When Mrs. Cochran retired, it was decided that the remaining Discovery Center team members would take the lead in keeping the event going,” he said. “Ms. Craggs and Mrs. Devereux are stationed at South and North respectively, so Ms. Salutric had more opportunities to lead the communications efforts for Holiday Write Night.”

Cochran was instrumental in transforming Holiday Write Night from a simple program that involved a small number of LT students and a few dozen youngsters, Tennant said.

“She found ways to add entertainment and enjoyable activities to the event, including the sing-a-longs, radio interviews, cupcake decorating, coloring and craft stations,” he said. “She also introduced the food drive to the event as a way of helping those in our community who are less fortunate.”

Over the years, Cochran improved the event in many respects.

“I started working at LT in 1994 and at that time Holiday Write Night only involved writing letters to Santa on the DC computers, and we only accommodated 40 little children by reservation only,” she said. “The next year I added a story telling room and each successive year I became more involved until I was promoted to the Discovery Center Coordinator and Coordinator of Holiday Write Night in 2001, until my retirement in June of 2017.”

Although Cochran is no longer the coordinator, she will still be volunteering this year.

Salutric is trying to keep the event similar to last year, with the exception of a higher goal for the food drive.

“The food collected from the Holiday Write Night food drive goes to two churches in our community, St. Cletus and St. Francis,” Salutric said. “In 2015 we donated 37 boxes of food and in 2013 we donated 92 boxes. I would like to try to get back up to 92 boxes or more this year.”