Toys to be given out Thursday

Published 9:50 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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NATCHEZ — Thursday is Christmas Eve and hundreds of boys and girls will receive gifts from the Children’s Christmas Tree Fund thanks to generous donations from people in the Miss-Lou community who made it possible.

This year, the gift distribution will be a little different in observance of COVID-19 guidelines, organizers said.

There will not be a car parade through Natchez neighborhoods on Christmas eve morning, which has been a long-standing tradition of the Children’s Christmas Tree’s partners in the Santa Claus Committee.

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Instead, Santa will still be at the old Braden School building on Homochitto Street to help distribute toys, organizers said.

Pre-registered families who will benefit from the Children’s Christmas Tree will begin to line up in the parking lot behind the school as early as 8 a.m. on Dec. 24 with their letter and, or, tickets in hand. The gift distribution will start at 10 a.m.

When their turn comes, drivers will move their vehicles around to the front of the school where the children will receive their toys from Santa in the order of their arrival.

Here is a list of those who donated as of Friday, Dec. 18, to help those families have a merry Christmas:

  • Kent Knee
  • Paula and Duke Edwards
  • Judith Mize
  • Carol Anne Blitzer in memory of Marty Nathanson, Beatrice Lopoo Nathanson and Frances Kling Nathanson
  • Johnny Thornton
  • Tanna Davis
  • Amanda and Benny Jeansonne in memory of Bennett Michael Jeansonne Jr.
  • Roberta and James Hefley
  • Scottie and Brad Taylor in memory of Neil Taylor
  • Carol and Ralph LeMay
  • McCalip Gwen in honor of James and Weston
  • Tamara and Jay Hamilton
  • Betty B. White in loving memory of Edward and Margie Barrett.
  • Anonymous in memory of Michael LeBlanc
  • Donna and Kevin Smith
  • Mary Netterville
  • Katie and Cliff McCarstle in memory of Cindy Wise McSwain
  • Deborah Hudson
  • Annette and Tony Byrne
  • Hero’s Journey Media
  • Punkie, Diddie Lisa and Jeannie in honor of their grandfather Dorris Ballew, Santa Claus 1961
  • Pokey and Tommy O’Beirne
  • Esther Jeffus in memory of Fred L. Johnson
  • Family of Walter W. Heard Jr. in memory of Walter Heard Sr.
  • Connie and Ben Taunton
  • Paul Marchbanks
  • Debra and Lewis Blackwell in memory of David Pickle
  • Beverly and Latta Ratcliffe
  • Drew Kisner in memory of Fred Cole
  • Page and Gary Blackwell
  • Jimmi, Curtis and Ava in memory of Phil Vasser, Santa 1981
  • Henry Burns
  • Kay and Ron Jinkins
  • Brenda Burgess
  • Kay and John Taylor
  • Sandra and Eddie Burks
  • Carolyn Eidt
  • Newt Willis
  • The Fred Callon family
  • Amy, Heather, Lindsey and Lauren in memory of Mom and Granddaddy Gay
  • Father David O’Connor
  • Maureen Irby
  • Susan and Paul Meng
  • Cora and Charles Wright in memory of Patsy Weeks and Evelyn Davis
  • Christina Fay Zuccaro in memory of Bennett Michael Jeansonne Jr.
  • George Ann and Phil Hale in honor of Braxton Hale, Tallyn and Victoria Fayard
  • Londyn, Harley and Camden Pigg
  • Anonymous

The Children’s Christmas Tree Fund is a non-profit group that collects money to purchase gifts for local children in need. Donations may be sent to: Christmas Tree Fund, P.O. Box 1082, Natchez, MS, 39121 or to The Natchez Democrat, P.O. Box 1447.