SEABROOK – Christmas in April Prince George’s County celebrated their 30th year in operation with their annual golf tournament on the courses at Joint Base Andrews on Sept. 23.
The local charity is going strong with their annual tournament to gather funds to repair homes of senior residents in Prince George’s County with low-incomes and/or are physically challenged.
“Christmas in April repairs and renovates the homes of elderly and disabled Prince George’s County residents,” Executive Director Mary Kucharski said. “We have repaired 2,744 homes at an estimated value of $49.7 million in the last 31 years thanks to thousands of corporate and community volunteers and supporters.”
During last year’s event, a record 390 golfers registered for the tournament and, despite the rainy conditions, the tournament still played nine holes for the charity event. Vincent “Cap” Mona, the founding chairman of Christmas in April Prince George’s County, attended the affair last year and pleased with the support the tournament received.
“We couldn’t have done it without you, the golfers, and the 90,000 volunteers and everybody who has put forth effort into helping this program,” Mona said. “Neighbor helping neighbor.”
The organization, which was formally affiliated with Rebuilding Together, renamed the event honoring siblings Susan Denison Mona and John Denison, who were a part of its creation. Both have lived in the county all their lives. Mona graduated from Oxon Hill High School and Denison received a degree in applied horticulture at the University of Maryland.
After marrying Vincent Mona in 1961, Susan helped with the creation of Mona Electric Group in 1966. According to the company’s website, Mona Electric Group has earned a good reputation as it is becoming one of the nation’s largest providers of electrical service, electrical construction, fire alarm systems, sprinkler, security systems and voice/data/video solutions.
In 1989, the pair sought to bring Christmas in April to Prince George’s County. According to Donna Denison, the widow of John Denson, Susan and “Cap” were the reason why their company, Denison Landscaping, involved in the creation of Christmas in April in the county.
John Denison created his landscaping company right out of college in 1975. According to his family obituary, Denison Landscaping grew to have 60 employees in 1985 before becoming a part of the group to bring the organization to the county. According to Donna Denison, John was always interested in performing community service projects and Christmas in April was an extension of that.
“He really enjoyed being in the community,” Donna said. “He grew up in the community so he loved seeing things happen…He enjoyed being with the people who supported Christmas in April; there are the people who donated one and then, there were the people who had been there forever and he really enjoyed being with those people.”
Mona continued performing community service outside of Christmas in April as she served on the board of the Andrew Mona Foundation, a charitable organization she founded following the death of her son from cancer. Following her death, the organization renamed itself in both of their honors as the Susan and Andrew Mona Foundation.
Meanwhile, John Denison continued to build his landscaping company while gladly taking a part in Christmas in April’s annual one day repair effort on the last Saturday in April. When asked about what was her favorite memory of working on a community service project with the organization, Donna said she could not name one.
“Christmas in April has meant a lot to our family,” Donna Denison said. “It is an honor; we will always be supportive and we have always been there. They have been a very heartfelt organization towards our family and we have been able to do a lot of good for people in the county.”