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Town helps make Christmas bright

By By Adam Prestridge
Atmore was full of the Christmas spirit this past Saturday.
From the L.A. Bikers' Toys for Tots bike run that made stops in Atmore and Perdido and Bratt, Fla. delivering toys to boys and girls to the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's Twilight Christmas Parade, there was something for everyone.
Fortunately for me, it was my weekend to work. I know what you must be asking yourself, "fortunate?" But it's true. If it were not for it being my weekend to work, I would not have had the opportunity to spend time with the many wonderful people who help make the holidays in and around Atmore cheerful.
In addition, having experienced the wonderful weekend in Atmore, I know now to pass up the weekend next year and spread the cheer with other staff members at the Advance. As a matter of fact, everyone on the Advance's staff as well as those who live in Atmore all need to experience the joyful day at least once. It will literally bring a tear to your eye.
Many times bikers are misconceived as hoodlums looking for trouble, but that's exactly what it is, a misconception. There were mothers, fathers, lawyers, doctors, city and county leaders, safety personnel and many other walks of life that participated in Saturday's toy run.
Yes, they were dressed in leather, some wore bandanas and others chose chains, but their hearts were in the right place. They made Christmas so much brighter for several children in the area. The children's glow when they received their gifts was priceless and was the best Christmas present for the parents who watched, tearful, while their children opened gift after gift.
The families who received gifts included mothers or fathers who were disabled and could not provide Christmas for their children due to financial constraints to grandparents who have taken in their grandchildren under undisclosed circumstances. These families were well deserving of the assistance and I am confident should they get back on their feet, they will pay it forward. I am sure they will donate to the toy drive later on, to give those who need the help the opportunity for it just as they were this year.
The Kelleys were also at work this past Saturday working to make Christmas brighter for area youth. DeeDra and Chasity Kelley perched themselves on top of the Atmore Fred's building until shoppers helped them fill one of Kelley's Ambulance Service's ambulances full of toys. They also collected money to make food baskets for elderly residents living at Rotary Village in Atmore.
Saturday's trip "up on the rooftop" marked the hometown family's third consecutive effort to make Christmas for Atmore children merry and bright.
Lastly, the Chamber of Commerce's Twilight Christmas Parade, which made its way down Main Street at dusk, awed spectators once again this year with its spectacle of bright floats and animated characters. Many organizations including the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, which held their parade last Friday night, as well as, businesses, schools, churches and much more helped add to the excitement with their participation in the parade.
There are several people that make this annual parade a success and they all should be commended for their efforts in making hundreds cheerful this Christmas.
Adam Prestridge is publisher of The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.