For 54 years, the City of Calhoun and other cities across Georgia have brought the joy of the holiday season to patients at Georgia’s regional behavioral health hospitals through the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade.
“We have always been supportive of this (Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade); it serves a good purpose,” City of Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer said.
The Northwest Regional Hospital has been closed and the mental health clients were moved to community-based housing.
Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), which is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its 512 member cities, is continuing to work with the cities in the Northwest region and the state coordinators to ensure that the clients continue to receive Christmas gifts through the motorcade.
The program, begun by the GMA, in cooperation with Governor Ernest Vandiver, relies on resident participation in each city to donate gifts for the patients, many of who would not receive gifts or be recognized without the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade.
According to hospital staff, many of the patients at these hospitals, and community-based housing, have lived there most of their lives and have little, if any, support or contact with friends and family.
Civic organizations, businesses, churches, schools, scout troops and individual citizens are encouraged to help with the collection of gifts for the Mayors’ Chrismas Motorcade.
Donations of new and unwrapped gifts will be accepted at City Hall until Monday, December 10, and cash donations are welcome.
Donated items from the City of Calhoun will be delivered to the Rome Civic Center on Tuesday, December 11.
For more information on how groups can participate, please call Paul Worley at 706-629-0151.