From Staff Reports
The following holiday events are taking place over in the area.
If you have a drive to raise food or toys for kids or have a special event you would like people to attend please send your holiday events to the News Daily to run in this column.
Speedway Children's Charity
A charity formed by the Atlanta Motor Speedway has raised a whopping 43 percent more this year to help area children than last year, and the $178,000 in donations will be presented in a festive event Dec. 7.
Speedway Children's Charities will provide checks to the 19 area charities during the 6 p.m. program in the Atlanta Motor Speedway ballroom. It will feature a performance by the Mt. Carmel Elementary School Choir, as well as a very special visit from Santa Claus and AMS's mascot, Monkey Wrench.
The money raised comes from a charity auction, raffles, receptions and donations from race fans.
Founded a decade ago, the charity has raised more than $1.75 million in that time.
"We think we work hard, but these organizations really work. They are really committed," said Dr. David Jones, chairman of the board of trustees for the charity.
"It's been a job to work with the children. You just feel as though they stop time, and then you realize what you're there for."
Shopping Spree Set
Kids were running around shopping for toys on Sunday thanks to the generosity of a local businessman. Tony Strianese an d the Toys R Us store at Southlake Mall are bringing the joy to kids in need. For the second year, Strianese has given children from the Chick-fil-A WinShape Homes $100 gift certificates to Toys R Us.
The toy store opened its doors after-hours at 7 p.m. to allow the children to shop. WinShape Homes is a long-care foster care program for children in need of a family environment. It was established by Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy in 1984.
Each home has two full-time paid parents and up to 12 children. There are 14 of the homes, nine of which are in Georgia.
The Nutcracker to be performed
Atlanta Festival Ballet, in its 15th season, will perform the classic holiday story of The Nutcracker in Clayton and Henry counties.
Performances will be held at the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center Nov. 27 and 28 at 2:30 p.m. and at the Henry Performing Arts Center Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 19 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.
Christian recording artist NewSong will perform a Christmas concert at First Baptist Church Locust Grove at 7 p.m. Dec. 2. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5. You can purchase tickets from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the church office.
The Jones Memorial First United Methodist Church UM Women are sponsoring A Christmas Affair, a luncheon, at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 11. Reservations may be made with Gayle Slagle.
Special Friends Mail Drop has begun for this year. Bags are on the hooks outside the Fellowship Hall. The bags will be delivered Dec. 5.
A special service, Dark Night of the Soul, for those who feel great sadness and grief during the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has begun.
The Living Christmas Tree is back at Jonesboro First Baptist Church. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 5. You may pick up tickets at Jonesboro First Baptist's Recreation Outreach Center from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturdays. You may also send your request with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Living Christmas Tree, P.O. Box 1355, Jonesboro, GA 30237. Orders cannot be taken by phone. There is a limit of 10 tickets per person. The ticket office is closed through Saturday. The last date to acquire tickets is Tuesday.