Current signs of the season

Friday, December 10, 2004

Shine on, shine on, holiday sun! That lyrical twist on an old-time song captures the bright mood for stores and shoppers in the Golden Plains of America. Following the Thanksgiving weekend snowstorm, sunny days have predominated, letting customers shop in comfort in sweater and light jacket weather.

Added to that is the upbeat attitude of merchants, who are excited about helping shoppers with gift suggestions.

All of this is adding up to an outstanding time for shoppers to fill Christmas gift lists. With temperatures predicted to be in the 60s Saturday, a large turnout of shoppers is anticipated in McCook and the other towns of the Golden Plains.

Join the excitement. May the smiles on our faces be as bright as the sun in the sky as we enjoy the fun and excitement of shopping for gifts for our family and friends.

Join the Bell-Ringing Army! As we shop, let's remember those in need by giving to the bell-ringers for the Salvation Army. Continuing a practice which is becoming a McCook tradition, volunteers will stand at the entrances to the Wal-Mart Super Center in McCook during extended periods for 12 days.

Starting Saturday, the bell-ringers will be at the Wal-Mart entrances from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The gifts help transients and other families identified by McCook Police as being in need. Help is given with food, lodging, medicine and assistance with utilities and rent.

Ninety five percent of the money placed in the kettles in McCook stays here to help with local needs. Many volunteers have already signed up as bell ringers. You can join the list by calling Fran Allacher at (308) 345-4844.

As we enjoy the blessings of the season, we need to remember those who are less fortunate.

Toy Box Distribution -- One of the most inspirational stories in McCook's history is the Toy Box, which shares gifts with 100s of children from the Tri-State Region at Christmastime.

The big day is on the way. Sunday at 1 p.m., when the toy distribution will take place at the National Guard Armory, located at 404 W. Seventh Street.

Last year, 700 children were treated to gifts. This year, sponsors are anticipating as many or more to gather for the toy giveaway.

What a wonderful program it is, bringing joy to youth who would otherwise have few, if any, presents to enjoy. Thanks to Santa Bill, and all the many volunteers who make the Toy Box possible.

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