THE CAPTAIN'S CORNER

`TIS THE SEASON...
ArticleID: 92
Date: 12/1/2000
Written By: Captain Jackson

`TIS THE SEASON...
by Captain Jacks

on ...To be Caring.
For those of you who enjoy community events, Downtown Jackson is the place to be! And every season of the year, you will find something unique and exciting.

The first annual Trunk or Treat on Halloween night was a shock to all of us involved. But the consensus of those who attended was a very positive "We like coming to events Downtown". I believe so, as an estimated 5000 people attended.

The Christmas Parade November 17th had a draw of 20,000 plus, and despite the cold temperatures and wind, citizens of all ages came together to greet the beginning of the holiday season in the Emerald City. But the best is yet to come.

Although thought to have been reduced to a lump of coal due to a lack of contributions, local business leaders have come together to make this year`s EVE ON THE AVE the best ever!

This year EVE ON THE AVE will take place between the hours of 9:00pm and midnight, December 31st. And even if it is as cold as last years "in the teens" weather, there will be a 150 foot x 30 foot heated tent to warm yourself. But that`s not all. Inside one end will be a stage for entertainers and at the other end a cold soul will be able to procure a cup of hot chocolate.

If you are into the arts, Ice Sculptors are scheduled to be in attendance at Bucky Harris Park. One of my favorite volunteer spots, The Michigan Theatre, is planning on being open with a free show featuring Jeff and the Atlantics. And let`s not forget the fireworks, which are set to go off at midnight! I wish I could tell you of more details, but at press time Kathleen Eriksen of the DDA didn''''''''t have firm commitments on a number of other possible additions. Once she has these commitments, she will issue a formal press release and further details will be published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot and on the Jackson Town Square on the Net "Calendar of Events".

This event can be a wonderful family celebration of the new millennium. And the best part of all is that most everything is free!

Most local restaurants will be open to help ring in the new year. What better an opportunity to come downtown and treat the family to dinner and then the celebration?

But, if you decide to imbibe in alcohol, please have a designated driver. There is nothing wrong with getting a little "jolly" during such an occasion, and you may even find the local authorities may give you the "benefit of the doubt". However, if you intend to drink and drive, WE WILL GET YOU! It is the goal of The Jackson City Police, The Jackson Sheriff Department and the Crimefighter Corps to see that everyone has a safe and enjoyable evening! Please help us fulfill this goal by being a responsible citizen.

On the other hand, unfortunately, the holiday season does not mean the same to many area residents. Though the economy is doing better than in years past, our community still has those in need. Two projects we highly support are TOYS FOR TOTS and the WARM THE CHILDREN FUND.

Toys for Tots is an ongoing charity function of the MARINES. It"s goal is to give unfortunate children a wonderful Christmas by way of giving them a new toy. I have been a contributor for years. Believe me, the reward is well worth the expense. Here`s how it works: purchase a new toy (or toys) and drop it off at one of the many drop-off sites. It doesn`t have to be an expensive toy either. My favorite contribution has always been a large yellow dump trunk made of soft plastic. Being the father of a ten year old, I know the value of size versus cost. She still has all of her "big, soft plastic" Barbie doll toys from past years. Even her Barbie boat still floats after being run over by a pontoon boat (with full compliment of passengers) three years ago! The children will appreciate it.

The Michigan Center High School band has also opened a drop-box. You can drop off a unwrapped new toy there until December 19. The band will be staging a concert that night at 7:00pm to turn the donations over to the Marines. For more information about this function, or about contributing, call the school at (517) 764-1440.

The third annual WARM THE CHILDREN FUND began November 1st and runs until the 15th of December. The objective is to dress needy children with basic winter clothing and footwear. As Marcy Drye, Chairwoman of the Junior Welfare League, explained to me,
"Last year over 500 children were provided for and the list for the needy children continues to grow but we do not have the volunteers to shop or the funds to do so. This year Warm the Children has raised enough funds so far for 400 children. There are over 700 names on the list. Without volunteers and donations these children will go without Again!" How true.

To contact Marcy, or get more information, call her office at (517) 796-6170. If you would only like to make a donation, please send it to: Jackson Citizen Patriot, WARM THE CHILDREN FUND, 214 South Jackson Street, Jackson, MI, 49201-2282.

The Holiday Season is supposed to be about giving. Please help us make these dreams a reality.

Copyright 2000, CFC


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