Out and About – Week of December 19th

It’s “Crunch Time” for you last minute Christmas shoppers. I’m including myself on this one, so we’d better quit procrastinating, get off the couch, and hit the stores. It feels like “Black Friday” was only a few days ago. I keep running into people who have had their shopping done for weeks. That’s just pitiful. Where’s their sense of adventure?

Okay, here’s the truth about auditions for “Needs Garlic”. This is the play written, and soon to be directed, by Three River’s own Shannon Piper. Auditions will be Monday and Tuesday, January 2 and 3, at 7 P.M., at the Players Theatre in Three Rivers. I’ll mention again that the theatre is located on Millard Road, directly behind Dairy Queen. I’ll have performance dates later. This is another comedy, which means that tickets will go fast as soon as they become available. Watch this column for more information.

Fire Fighters for Santa are in their final stages of preparation for delivering food and gifts to those in need in the Three Rivers area. It’s not too late to take your donation to City Hall, where all donations will be sorted for delivery. Donations can include non-perishable food items, unwrapped toys, and, of course, any monetary donation. Emergency equipment will roll out of the Three Rivers Fire Department on Friday, December 23, loaded with the food and many gifts donated. The firefighters stand ready to answer your call 24/7. This time, they need your help to ensure that those in need have a Christmas that they won’t forget.

The Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) is also winding down their annual pet food drive. You have until Saturday, December 24, to take your donation to the TSC store located at the north end of Westland Plaza, just north of the West Michigan Avenue and US-131 intersection. After you make a donation, pick up a 3×5 card from the ARF booth, fill it out, and give it to a cashier for the drawing. First prize is $50, second prize is $25, and third prize is a pet photo with Santa. All proceeds go toward the care of neglected animals in St. Joseph County.

The Community Action Book Drive continues through Saturday, December 31. The drive is hosted by the St. Joseph County Carol Shippy Center, 1000 E. Broadway, in Three Rivers. They are in need of donated books that are gently used, in good condition, without torn pages or writing in them. They do not want magazines, coloring books, text books, outdated non-fiction, or encyclopedia sets. The books should be appropriate for children age birth to 5 years.

Finding a place to hold that holiday party can be stressful thing, especially if you wait too long to make reservations. The Three Rivers Lions Club has the ideal venue for your holiday party or get-together. If you’ve procrastinated long enough and are looking for a place for your holiday gathering, consider having it in a place where there’s plenty of parking, a kitchen, and even a dance floor. Call the Three Rivers Lions Club at (269)273-2424. Leave a name and number; someone will get back to you, and arrangements can be made. Problem solved, and the stress has disappeared.

Last month we celebrated Thanksgiving. The holes on my belt signify that I celebrated very well. This month we celebrate Christmas, and my credit card balance shows that I’ve tried my best to make sure that I’ll be happy watching my wife open her Christmas stocking. This is all well and good, but we should never forget those individuals who will celebrate the holidays alone. If you’ve never done this, you can’t imagine the loneliness. If you have a neighbor, or perhaps you know someone in a nursing home or health care facility, please do something to remind them that they have not been forgotten. Pay those folks a visit, or invite them into your home and celebrate this joyous season together. It’s a win-win situation, and everyone will end up with happy memories.

I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. If you know a member of the Armed Forces who will soon return home, give that person a special hug and thank your God for his/her safe return. May there be peace on earth, and may it begin with you.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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