Before the holiday season even arrived, Hinesville businesses and faith-based organizations began spreading cheer in August through support of the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade.
Mayor Jim Thomas and city staff members joined 21 other cities Dec. 8 in celebrating at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah.
“I think it is awesome that all of these mayors are here representing our cities to show support for the residents at Georgia Regional,” Thomas told the crowd during a ceremony on the hospital campus. “Truthfully, none of us could have done it without the support of our city council and hard work of the staff.”
For months, the Hinesville Mayors’ Motorcade Committee worked to raise funds for the program to deliver gifts to patients during the motorcade event. This was Hinesville’s ninth year of participation in the program. This year, staff volunteers raised more than $5,000 for patients — twice the amount they collected in 2011. Donations were given by local business owners, churches and residents.
“I am amazed by the support shown to this cause. It is great to live in a community that works together and doesn’t mind giving to those in need,” committee Chairwoman Holly Stevens said.
Georgia Municipal Association began the motorcade in 1958 at the request of then-Gov. Ernest Vandiver to provide holiday gifts for the patients of Georgia’s hospitals for mental health and the mentally challenged. The program also is aimed at raising awareness of the needs of Georgia’s mental hospitals.
There are seven regional mental-health hospitals in the state, serving some 3,200 Georgians.