Mayor's Christmas Motorcade rides through Thomasville - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mayor's Christmas Motorcade rides through Thomasville

December 13, 2006

Thomasville-- Cities across Georgia work together every year to make the holiday season a brighter for mental health patients. The mayor's motorcade for southwest Georgia went through Thomasville Wednesday morning.

Led by Santa Clause in a Thomasville fire truck, representatives from Camilla, Cairo, Bainbridge, Hahira, Albany, Tifton, and Valdosta rode in the motorcade. They were there to bring the gifts their communities collected for the patients at Southwestern State Hospital.

Captain Raymond Drennon of the Tifton Police Deparment said, "I'm impressed with it. I'm impressed with the people that come together, the cooperation, the way Thomasville has put this thing together. It's nice."

"It kind starts the Christmas season for us here in Thomasville. We don't feel like its started until we get out to Southwestern," says Camille Payne who was standing in for the mayor.  The Georgia Municipal Association began the program in 1958 and it's been going strong ever since.

For some of the clients at Southwestern State Hospital, the gifts they receive from the mayor's motorcade program will be the only gifts they receive this season.  "For people who don't have any family or their family has forgotten them, it makes a difference to get some special gift. Something that is yours on Christmas day," says Payne. 

And this program even goes beyond just the holidays.  "Aside from that the monetary donations assist us to buy winter coats for people and buy some clothing for clients that might not otherwise have clothing when they come to us," says hospital administrator Beverly Bajerski.

Bajerski says the program is especially meaningful to their clients.  "They're going to be quite happy that all these people in the community are thinking of them and have taken their time and their talent to come out and see them."

This Christmas morning will be just that much merrier for the patients at Southwestern State Hospital, thanks to the gifts from their community.

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