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Bikers collect gifts for mental patients

POSTED: November 22, 2007 5:00 a.m.

The Georgia Municipal Association’s 2007 Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade roared through Hinesville Saturday.

Organizer George Screws said the ride, which is part of a statewide effort, solicits small gifts for adult patients at Georgia’s regional mental health hospitals, as well as raising awareness of the patients and their care.

The GMA began the annual motorcade in 1958 at the request of Betty Vandiver, wife of then-Gov. Ernest Vandiver, as a way of providing holiday gifts for the patients of Georgia’s mental hospitals. Many of the patients have lived in the facilities for much of their lives and receive little, if any, support from their families. Any gifts not handed out at Christmas are used for patients’ birthdays or given to newly arriving clients in need.

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