An annual Victorian Christmas open house and memorial run are continuing to benefit students within the Johnstown-Monroe Local Schools.

An annual Victorian Christmas open house and memorial run are continuing to benefit students within the Johnstown-Monroe Local Schools.

Lifelong resident Joyce Evans hosts the activities in memory of daughter Jacki Short, who died Feb. 28, 2004, as a result of complications from drug abuse. Funds raised by the events are donated to the schools for alcohol and drug prevention programs.

"Having gone through this with one child, if we can help one kid a year, I'm ecstatic," Evans said. "They've had programs at the lower levels. That's where it starts. I leave it up to them (the schools and police department). They know what works. It would be nice to offer programs at all levels."

J-M treasurer Tammy Woods said the Jacki Short Memorial Fund currently has $3,400, with $770 being donated this year.

Overall, Evans estimates about $4,000 has been raised for the effort.

Johnstown police officer Chris Cooperrider, former school resource officer, distributes educational materials to the students.

"I've given out suckers that say don't do drugs," he said. "We've also had local towing people bring in cars for the Prom Promise. That hasn't cost us anything."

Searfoss has a DARE program, while the high school traditionally has a Prom Promise program.

"I do more one-on-one stuff with kids who have the problems, trying to give them help," Cooperrider said.

Evans and husband Larry most recently opened up their home on Dec. 19 for a Victorian Christmas Tour at 297 W. Coshocton St. in Johnstown.

During Saturday's open house, Evans displayed an artificial Christmas dinner on a table in the dining room, where a tree was also adorned with authentic-looking candies and cookies.

The Victorian home also featured about 110 buildings from the Department 56 collection. Evans said it takes her about 10 days to set up the display that also boasts four dozen trees and 150 people.

Another Christmas tree in her parlor is decorated with 1,500 lights and close to 1,000 ornaments, including angels made of lace from Illa Searfoss, the namesake of Johnstown's Searfoss Elementary.

"She was my teacher," Evans said.

The tree also holds antique ornaments that belonged to Evans' grandmothers in addition to ornaments that belonged to former Johnstown mayor Edgar Lewis, who was also a barber.

The home also showcased other Christmas collections from various eras.