In 1958, the Georgia Municipal Association and then-Gov. Ernest Vandiver created the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade to help these hospital patients celebrate Christmas. The Mayors’ Motorcade is a tradition that has continued through the years, allowing residents throughout Georgia to give to these patients through their local municipal governments.
The city of Calhoun has begun its gift collection campaign for 2010; donations from Gordon County benefit Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Rome.
According to a 2009 article published in the Calhoun Times:
Hospital representative Marla McDonald said the hospital houses about 240 individuals, many of them mentally disabled. Clothing items like scarves and gloves are useful, she said, as well as sweat suits in all sizes, especially extra large ones.
Patients also enjoy DVDs - PG, or G-rated only - she said.
Although snacks, like cookies, are allowed, she said no candy or gum will be accepted.
Gifts not given out at Christmas will be used for birthdays and other special occasions, Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer said.
“Calhoun’s been one of the biggest supporters of this,” he noted.
Gifts must be new and unwrapped and can be dropped off at Calhoun City Hall at 226 South Wall Street downtown by Dec. 13.
Schools, churches, businesses or civic groups wishing to participate may contact Rita Susong at 706-629-0151 for a more detailed gift list.