The Hinesville Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade, in cooperation with the Georgia Municipal Association, is raising funds for the Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah as the holiday season draws nearer.
The GMA Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade initiative began in 1959 at the request of Betty Vandiver, the wife of then-Governor Ernest Vandiver, as a way of providing holiday gifts to Georgia’s mental health patients, according to GMA’s website. It began in Milledgville to provide gifts to those at the Central State Hospital, but expanded in the 1980s to include state regional hospitals.
For 59 years, cities across Georgia have brought the joy of the holidays to patients in Georgia’s regional behavioral health hospitals through the program, according to a City of Hinesville press release.
Hinesville Human Resources Specialist Neisha Williams, who is spearheading the collection, said that all sponsorship forms said that donations will be accepted up until Friday, Nov. 30. So far, there have been an estimated 17 monetary donations from local businesses, she added, and more continue to come in each day.
“As of right now, we have currently raised $3,500,” Williams said.
The donations will be donated to Georgia Regional in Savannah on Wednesday, Dec. 5. There will be a parade at 9:45 a.m., according to GMA’s website. The festivities give the donors and those who collected the opportunity to present their gifts and such to the hospital.
“We’re trying to reach our goal of $5,000 this year,” Williams said. “We aren’t quite there yet, but we do still have time.”
Civic organizations, businesses, churches, schools, scout troops and individual citizens are encouraged to help with the collection of gifts for the motorcade, the press release continued.
Local businesses who have donated include: Badcock Home Furniture & More; Save-A-Ton Food Mart; Mach 1 Body Shop; Super Pawn, Inc.; Darsey, Black & Associates, LLC; Darin Townsend Family Dental Center; Pedrick & Company, LLC Certified Public Accountants; Jones, Osteen & Jones; Napa Auto Parts in Liberty County School Maintenance Facility; Coastal Courier; Ollie’s Bargain Outlet; M&M Motors; Rodeo Mexican Restaurant; Dove Mortgage Inc.; Papa Johns; Hinesville Housing Authority; and Hinesville’s Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Ryon.
“The Mayor’s Motorcade is such a fulfilling and heart-warming event,” Williams said. “I truly enjoy being a part of it each year.”
For more information on how to participate, contact City Hall at 912-876-3564.