Thanks to our wonderful AuSable Forks Volunteer Fire Department members for once again doing a great job of putting our Christmas lights up and having them turned on for the holidays. Our town looks so festive, and residents are all catching the holiday spirit. Great job to our firemen who took time from their busy schedule to complete this task.
The ninth annual Christmas in the Forks celebration schedule has been finalized for Saturday, Dec. 7. There will be a day-long giving tree and Advent display at Holy Name Church.
The first event of the day will be the Jingle Bell Jog and Fun Run. Signups will be held at Town of Jay Community Center beginning at 11:45 a.m. The Jingle Bell Fun Run is approximately three-quarters of a mile and is free for kids ages 4-10. It starts at 12:30 p.m. The Jingle Bell Jog is approximately 2.5 miles and is for teens and adults. The participation fee is $10. It begins at 12:45 p.m. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Hollywood Theatre and the Go Digital or Go Dark campaign. Both runs require each participant to pick up s'mores ingredients along the route and finish back at the Community Center, where there will be a fire pit to toast them up. Call 578-3551 for more information.
At 1:30 p.m., ring in Christmas at Holy Name Church. At 2 p.m., Christmas craft time will be held at St. James Episcopal Church. At 2:30 p.m., story hour with Mrs. Claus will be held at the AuSable Forks Free Library. At 3 p.m., Christmas Story in Song will be held at St. James Episcopal Church. At 4 p.m., children's movies will be held at Hollywood Theatre. At 6 p.m., the tree-lighting ceremony will be held with Randy Douglas the master of ceremonies assisted by Susan Richards leading everyone in singing Christmas carols and Chairwoman Helen Wirt Kennedy assisting in the ceremony. Frosty Forks, Snoopy, Cindy Lou Who, the Grinch, Santa and Mrs. Claus and a very special surprise guest will attend the tree lighting. At 7 p.m., children's movies will be held at Hollywood Theatre, and at the Town of Jay Community Center Santa and Mrs. Claus will be waiting to hear all the children's Christmas wish lists.
The chairwoman has announced there are beautiful Christmas ball ornaments to be placed on the tree for sale for $10 each. The family name will be place on a tag on the ornament and will be used each year till it wears out at no cost after the original purchase. Contact Helen at 578-0865 for more information or to order an ornament. All events for the children are free of charge. Plan to spend the day in AuSable Forks for a great day of fun.
A huge thank-you to Roger and Cindy Douglas for their donation of the beautiful Christmas tree this year. The firemen have changed the date for the Firehouse Big Breakfast from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8 to connect with this festive occasion. Stop by for a delicious breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the fire station.
Birthdays this week: Nov. 25, Tammy Gravelle Kessler celebrated; Nov. 26, Melissa Manning and Julie Bechard were our birthday girls; Nov. 27, William Hickey II celebrated; Nov. 28, Jayni Manning celebrated her Thanksgiving Day birthday; Nov. 29, Howard Drake Sr. celebrates; Nov. 30, Amy Sorrell gets cake and candles; Dec. 1, Brian Pray and Tammy Seguin get best wishes.
Happy anniversary wishes this week to Leslie and Diane Mitchell on Nov. 27.
Special thoughts and prayers for dearly departed members of our community: Nov. 28, Jessica Hewston; Nov. 30; Henry Caito and his grandmother, Theresa Caito, who both died in a tragic motor vehicle accident in 2011.
The annual Holiday Toy Drive continues and is accepting unwrapped toys for children of all ages. Drop all toys or donations of money off at M&M Diner during hours of operation. Anyone wishing to apply for toys for their children must fill out an application which is available at M&M Diner and must be returned by Dec. 15. For more information, contact Cindi Murphy at 647-8264.
The annual Christmas Meal Basket Drive for town of Black Brook and town of Jay residents is also proceeding full speed ahead. Holiday meal baskets consist of turkey, gravy, vegetables, stuffing, potatoes, dinner rolls and one pie. Anyone wishing to donate any needed items, please contact Kelly Murphy at 524-5806.
The annual Stewart's Holiday Match program is underway. From Thanksgiving through Christmas Day, customers making donations to this event will be matched by Stewart's. All nonprofit organizations are welcome to apply for funds from this event. Last year, several organizations benefited. Please consider making a donation on your shopping trip to Stewart's. All those receiving funding in Essex and Clinton County will be announced in my column when they are awarded.
A free Christmas dinner will be served on Dec. 25 at the AuSable Forks firehouse from noon till 2 p.m. A delicious turkey dinner and all the trimmings will be served by Friends of the Community. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy a delicious meal and fellowship.
Congratulations to Steph Snow, a member of Sharkies Dollies Thursday night Bowling League at Riverside Lanes who recently purchased a new Lucid bowling ball. On Thursday night, she bowled a 257, 226, and 233 for a 716 series. Great bowling, Steph. I believe this is a record-breaker in this league. My condolences to the family of Karen Burke, 62, of Ausable Forks, who passed away at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh on Oct. 28, 2013. Karen was born on June 1, 1951, the daughter of the late Chester and Doris (Coughlin) Patterson. Karen was buried in Fairview Cemetery in AuSable Forks. RIP, Karen.
My condolences to the family of Louis Fournier, 73, of AuSable Forks, who passed away at his home on Nov. 17, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. Louie was born on Sept. 17, 1940, son of the late Wilfred and Jennie (LaFountain) Fournier of Peasleeville. Calling hours were held at the Thwaits-Zaumetzer Funeral Home in AuSable Forks on Nov. 20. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Matthew's Church in Black Brook on Nov. 21. Burial followed in the parish cemetery. RIP, Louie.
The AuSable Valley Central School pool located at the Middle-High School in Clintonville will be open to the public on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. starting Dec. 1 and ending March 2. There will be no public swimming on Dec. 25 or 29, Jan. 1 or Feb. 19. There will be limited locker space on Jan. 22, Feb. 5 and Feb. 12 due to sports conflicts. If school is closed or all after-school activities are canceled, open swimming will not be held. There is no charge for the public swim this year.
Special thoughts and prayers for ill and recovering residents of our community: Luke Randy Garcia, Sarah Tromblee, Muriel LaBombard, Carolyn Dagley, Cindy Thomas, Eunice Frenyea, Frank Lovely, Jim Bombard, John Bombard, Maureen Lattrelle, Mabel Fredenburg, Helen Drake, Helen McKerninan, Peggy Sue Hart, Jari Snow-Thwaits, Rick Nolan, Debbie Spooner, Pauline Dumas, Karen Baker, Lynda Denton, John Santor, Bob Rondeau, Evie Dockum, Allison Crahan, Gabby Lincoln, Michaela Bushey, Carol (Bombard) Quigley, Laura (Joyal) Razzano, Rikki Kane, Joe Dubay Jr., Walter Fournier Sr., Terry Nollette, Colleen Otis-Whisher, Marla Devito and anyone I may have forgotten.
Till next time, have a great week and happy reading.
Wishing a very happy Thanksgiving to all my faithful readers.