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BalletMet executive director to place Baby Jesus in manger on Christmas Eve

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – December 21, 2007 – At 7 p.m. on Monday, Christmas Eve, State Auto’s Christmas season will culminate with the placing of Baby Jesus in the manger at the company’s life-size Nativity display.

Cheri Mitchell, executive director of BalletMet Columbus, will continue the tradition of having a community representative lead the ceremony by “finishing” the display with its final element: Baby Jesus. The ceremony is brief and without fanfare, a most appropriate and fitting way to announce that Christmas has arrived.

Prior to being named executive director of BalletMet Columbus in 2001, Mitchell served as director of marketing and communications and director of finance and administration. She also held posts with the Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCO) in Columbus and the Ohio Dental Association. Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, where she is currently pursuing a graduate degree in arts policy and administration.

State Auto’s Christmas displays, which began in 1931 as a “gift to the community” from founder Bob Pein, have evolved from a rooftop Santa Town with thousands of lights and hundreds of Christmas trees, to the current life-size Nativity display. Construction on this year’s display began on October 1. The display will be lighted daily through January 1.

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