Submitted by Jerome Wyche
If you and your family are thirsty for a Christmas environment with everything that you can imagine, combining an old and new fashioned celebration, then hold on to your seats and get ready! The Kiwanis Club of Madison is poised to “Light up Madison” in a way that will be remembered by all for a time to come. This will be the second year that the Kiwanis Club has assumed the responsibility of hosting this event that promises to be bigger than it was last year. There is so much family excitement planned for Dec. 1, 2012, it is literally hard to wait for the few days to pass until it’s here. The “Light Up Madison” event will begin at 4:30 p.m. and conclude at approximately 8 p.m. Project Chairperson Willy Gamalero and members of the Light Up Madison Committee began planning for this special event as early as May of this year. The purpose of the event is to afford families the chance to come out and enjoy an exciting Christmas gala without the worry of overspending, as well as recognizing the reason for the season. Because of the success from the previous year, this event has received unbelievable inquiries from citizens from surrounding counties that are anxious and waiting to attend. The committee has secured approval from the Department of Transportation to block off traffic on Highway 90 for the Christmas Parade, sponsored by Lake Park of Madison. There will be prizes for the best entries as judged by a committee of Kiwanians. As in the past, there will be over 30 custom decorated Christmas trees donated by Madison County Community Bank, with their own personalities, to be lit in a timely fashion adding to the ambience. There will be a one mile Jingle Jog, sponsored by the Junior Auxiliary, opened to all joggers. In order to secure a spot in the Jingle Jog, bring a jar of peanut butter and jelly, or a children’s book, or make a $5.00 donation for the cause. To be eligible for the “Big Prize Drawing,” you will also asked to bring a jar of peanut butter and jelly, a children’s book, or $5.00 for your chance to win. The peanut butter and jelly that is collected will be donated to a local food bank to feed the needy.The children’s books will be donated to the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend. In view of one of the goals of the District President of the Florida Kiwanis, the peanut butter and jelly will help feed the body; the children’s books will help feed the mind. Becky’s Dance Steps Studio promises to electrify the event with its “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree Dance Program.” Families may choose to lounge on the courthouse lawn and watch Christmas movies, sponsored by the Tent Builders of Madison, or take and old fashioned hay ride, sponsored by Gordon Tractor and Kenny McLeod. Choirs from various community churches will belt out Christmas songs along with other offerings of entertainment. Jolly ol’ Santa and Mrs. Claus will be waiting at the Four Freedoms Park Gazebo to take memorable photographs in Winter Wonderland, sponsored by Tudor Rose Photography and Odiorne Insurance. Food vendors will be available to offer their treats of chicken and rice, hot dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy and other tasty morsels. All of the local businesses and food outlets will be open for your shopping conveniences. After the children have exhausted themselves in the bounce houses, watched movies on the courthouse lawn and experienced the real meaning of Christmas, some lucky ticket holder will win a “Power Wheels Vehicle” at the drawing to take place at the main tent of the Kiwanis Club of Madison at 8:00 PM. The Kiwanis Club of Madison will also be taking orders for its annual Citrus Sale to raise funds to award scholarships to our community youths. Any interested citizen that would like to donate a jar of peanut butter and jelly, or donate a children’s book are encouraged to do so. If you have a sincere interest to serve our communities, Kiwanis membership is open to you. Your voluntary participation will help underscore the defining statement of Kiwanis International; “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.” Come early, bring your lawn chairs and secure your favorite spot. This is one event that you will not want to miss. See you there!