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Cities come together

Although most of the 657 participating children in Andalusia Community Christmas have had their gifts accounted for, there are still several angels that need to be returned soon.

Larry Avery, chairman of Andalusia Community Christmas, said there are still approximately 40 angels whose gifts have not yet been turned in to the Kiwanis Building.

“Right now we’re kind of waiting to get those back in,” Avery said. “If they don’t come in, we’ll have to shop for them (today) and Thursday. We don’t want to have any duplication, so it’s important for people to get their gifts in soon.”

Of the 657 original angels, Avery said “somewhere between 75 and 100” were not picked up by citizens. As a result, those gifts had to be purchased by Andalusia Community Christmas. He added that in previous years, there are usually only about 25-30 angels for which Andalusia Community Christmas has to purchase the gifts.

However, Avery said that even though not as many angels were claimed this year, there was a larger amount of donations.

“This year, it seems like people have been more willing to give donations,” he said. “That’s not a problem; we’ve got several people who like to go out and shop for those presents. Right now, we’re just trying to track down everybody who’s got an angel and hasn’t yet returned their gifts.

“We need to make sure every child is accounted for. It would be disastrous to miss even just one kid, and would make us look bad, and we certainly don’t want to do that.”

Yesterday, members of the Lions Club assembled bicycles that will be given away at the Community Christmas party Friday. The party will take place at the Kiwanis Building from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., where the children will also be treated to a visit from Santa Claus and a pizza party, in addition to receiving their presents.

Avery said the community has been very supportive of Community Christmas so far, and he expects the party on Friday to go smoothly.

“I’d like to make a real thank you to the people of Andalusia, because without them, we couldn’t do this,” he said. “The party doesn’t need a lot of people, but we might need some folks to volunteer to help clean up afterwards. If we have enough show up, we should be out of there by 9:30 or quarter to 10.”