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Christmas came early for dozens of people in north Macon. River Edge, a center that provides a variety of mental and physical health services, held a Christmas gala equipped with Santa and his elves to bring in the holiday cheer.

The first event of its kind for the health organization was at 10 a.m. at Lundy Chapel Missionary Baptist church on Forest Hill Road Wednesday.

Students from Central High School sang carols and there were photo opportunities with Santa and his elves.

"I like the band playing, when they're playing the horn. And the part I like is taking picture with Santa Claus," said Willie Colbert from Bolingbroke. He came with his mom and aunt.

More than 250 guests arrived to join in the festivities.

"The central high fine arts department brought their chorus, brass section, and some of its art students to participate," said River Edge chief executive officer Shannon Harvey.

This is the first time River Edge has held a Christmas gala. They hope to make it a tradition.

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