Thursday, January 12, 2012
Clydesdale goes to Smithville
The Clydesdale Christmas Store volunteers headed to Smithville in Monroe County in December to help families who lost everything during the April 2011 tornado that devastated their entire town.
“We thank Mayor Greg Kennedy and his assistants who provided a list of names of families to us,” said organizer Brenda Luther.
Twenty Clydesdale volunteers arrived in Amory on Friday to set up the party for 60 families of Smithville. The Amory National Guard provided the facility for the big event. More than 50 volunteers with the store were there on Saturday to assist in making it a special day for more than 300 people.
The day began at 11 a.m. with an emotional welcome from Mayor Kennedy. Afterwards, the families enjoyed a holiday dinner prepared by the Clydesdale volunteers.
Maia Miller, Jane Farris, Diane Greer and Michelle Stuber provided everyone with delicious homemade desserts. Ladies from our local churches baked cookies for each family. Entertainment throughout the day was provided by Donna Wolfe, violinist from Memphis, Tenn., Larry Clark, magician/juggler of Memphis, and Kid Davie, a balloon artist from Southaven. Santa visited with each child to give them a bagful of toys, and parents received a special gift from the Clydesdale Christmas Store.
“Our volunteers give so much of their time and their own resources to help others,” Luther said. “Smithville is on the top of our list as being one of the most fulfilling days for all of the volunteers. These families witnessed the horror of the tornado by seeing their homes completely destroyed and experiencing the loss of family members and friends.
“They showed their appreciation throughout the day – both parents and children – thanking volunteers, and giving them hugs and crying many tears of happiness. Many families have mailed us thank you cards expressing their gratitude and what the day meant to them.
“We are blessed to have been able to make a difference in so many lives this year.”
Kennedy said the Clydesdale Christmas event for the residents was truly a blessing.
“You have provided an uplifting experience for families during this time, which, without the Clydesdale Christmas, these families would have had a long and painful Christmas season,” he said. “Again, thank you from all of the community. You have been the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Please tell everyone involved how much I enjoyed visiting with them. I look forward to talking with all of you when we get rebuilt. Keep up the good work and my prayers are with you.”
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