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“Sober Drivers Make Great Gifts”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but one poor decision to drink and drive could bring a devastating end to holiday celebrations.
As Texans are planning to celebrate the holidays, the Texas Department of Transportation is launching a holiday campaign with a renewed focus on the importance of planning for a sober ride home. TxDOT’s Holiday P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) campaign encourages Texans to give the gift of a sober ride and make it easier for sober drivers to enjoy the festivities without drinking alcohol.
Holiday drinking and driving poses a serious threat for all holiday travelers on the road. During last year’s holiday season (Dec. 1, 2011, through Jan. 1, 2012) there were 2,462 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 842 serious injuries and 78 fatalities. During the upcoming holiday season, law enforcement officers throughout the state will work thousands of additional hours to crack down on drunk driving, including implementing no-refusal programs in many jurisdictions.
To assist TxDOT in spreading the Holiday P.A.S.S. life-saving message, the Texas Hospitality Association is distributing customizable sober driver “gift certificates” and other materials in stores across the state where alcohol is sold. Additionally, award-winning mixologist, Rob Pate, owner of restaurants Peche’ and Cherry Street in Austin, is creating three signature non-alcoholic drinks for the holidays that will be promoted for holiday parties.
For tips on planning ahead for sober drivers and safe rides after holiday festivities, visit the Holiday P.A.S.S. Facebook page at www.facebook.com/txdot or the Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/holidaypass. You will also find recipes for our original non-alcoholic drinks there.
The Chancel Choir will sing the Christmas cantata, “A Celebration of Carols,” by Joseph M. Martin.
“This new major work is filled with beloved carols and seasonal songs set to new arrangements and meaningful scriptures,” said Patricia Fowzer, the church’s music minister.
The annual Christmas service is presented amid a setting of stained glass, candles, poinsettia, and the church’s Chrismon tree.
Each of the church’s musical ensembles will be performing:
• the Angelus Children’s Choir directed by Pat Lazaroff;
• the Joyful Noise Children’s Choir directed by Ermi Kines;
• the Kid Tones Chime Choir and the Wesley Ringers Handbell Choir directed by Fowzer.
There will be a processional of all of the choirs to the carol “Once in Royal David’s City.” Congregational hymns will include: “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Angels We Have Heard on High”.
At the conclusion of the cantata, the congregation will light candles to the singing of “Silent Night.”
Accompanists for the evening are Arvin Starrett, organist, and Bruce Frazier, pianist.
“The wonderful music of Christmas truly does make the season brighter, and the musicians of First United Methodist Church wish to invite Paris and the surrounding communities to join them,” Fowzer said.
The church is located at 322 Lamar Avenue.
You can never run out of things to do during the holiday season in Paris, as there are new events being created every year.
This year’s new addition is the first annual Trolley Tour of Historical Churches, which will feature a trip on the “Trolley de Paris” for a tour of six historical churches around town.
The event will take place on this Saturday, December 8, at 1:30pm. Visit the Chamber of Commerce website for more details.
The “Trolley de Paris” will tour the First Presbyterian Church, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Central Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, and St. Paul Baptist Church; stopping for about twenty minutes hear about each church’s history.
All of the churches, with the exception of the First Presbyterian Church, were built before 1916 and then had to be rebuilt after the they burned in the fire of 1916.
Seating is limited to 40 on the trolley, so the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce is urging interested parties to purchase their ticket in advance at the Chamber. Tickets cost $5.
by Nic Huber – eParisExtra!
“Toy collection has been really slow this year, and the number of applications has increased,” said Angela Ward, the YWCA executive director. “This weekend is going to be critical. If you see a Toys for Tots box somewhere, stop and buy a toy and put it in there.”
Volunteers spent Tuesday evening sorting toys already collected by age and category. As they worked, gaps became apparent. There’s a desperate need for toys for girls ages 1-8. As of Tuesday, the shelves were completely bare for ages 1-2. Toys are also needed for both boys and girls ages 9-13, as well as boys ages 1-3.
YWCA has also seen a decrease in donations for its food drive. The organization offers a two-week food basket along with the toys given out. Christmas break is a time when kids who normally get meals at school, putting strain on families’ food budgets. To get the basket, recipients have to commit to participating in the YWCA’s jobs program.
Donations can be dropped off at the YWCA or the tunnel of lights at Crazy House Western Wear.
Volunteers are also needed to package toys from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 11-14. Contact the YWCA or simply show up to help. As wrapping begins next week, Toys for Tots would like to receive donations before Dec. 12.
“We can always take more toys, but we would like to have them before the 12th,” Ward said.
For those who need a little help making a merry Christmas, there’s still time to get your application in for Toys for Tots, but you need to hurry. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday.
Toys for Tots is a mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve started in 1947 to provide a new, unwrapped toy for needy children at Christmas. The local effort is overseen by the Sgt. J. Hoskins Detachment of the Marine Corps League. The local YWCA also helps. A former boxing ring has been converted into a Toys for Tots warehouse, and the Y handles applications for those seeking toys.
“If any offices want to include it as part of their office party, that would be a good idea,” Ward said.
For more information, contact the YWCA at 903-785-5221.