Along with obtaining financial backing from Toyo Tire, organizers are appealing to the public -- seeking donations and promoting the Shop Bartow Discount Card. Retailing for $25, each card grants its purchaser access into the Parade Party on Dec. 1 and discounts at more than 30 participating Bartow County businesses. Along with benefiting the Christmas luncheon, proceeds from the Shop Bartow cards also support Advocates for Children.
"This year's Community Christmas Luncheon is expected to draw our biggest crowd ever," said event chair Tina Jennings in a news release. "Toyo Tire has provided a very generous donation for the luncheon every year, but additional funds are needed in order to serve every single person who walks through the door, which is our goal.
"We don't want anyone to walk away hungry. We are able to raise money through corporate and individual donations, but we hope that the Shop Bartow Discount Cards will also be a great way to generate funds this year. Not only is the money going towards a worthy cause, but there are tons of great benefits to purchasing the cards."
Coinciding with the Cartersville-Bartow County Exchange Club's Christmas Parade on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., the Parade Party will occur from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. To be held at Stonewall Manor, 104 Stonewall St. in Cartersville, the party also will feature an open buffet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
"We are throwing the Parade Party in conjunction with the Bartow Business Connection," said Kevin Karel, president of Advocates Young Professionals, which supports Advocates for Children's Flowering Branch Children's shelter. "Each of the last two years we have voted as a group, as AYP members, to give a large portion of the proceeds to support the Community Christmas Luncheon.
"We just feel that it's a cause that is certainly very noteworthy and very noble here in town and the people in leadership for the BBC and AYP are very close. Parnick Jennings and I have worked on a number of things together and we just felt like as a group, it would only be right to give a portion of our proceeds for AYP to the Christmas luncheon."
For Karel, the party is a great way for people to enjoy the festivities and interact with other Bartow County residents.
"We feel like in some ways maybe we've found a niche because people oftentimes line up along the parade routes. Sometimes it's cold. Sometimes it's not so cold," Karel said. "But the thing that people seem to always -- at least in our opinion from what we could perceive is that people seem to not really have anything [or] anywhere that they were planning to go afterwards or a place outside of just the street where they were going to enjoy the parade. This way it's like you're surrounded by a group of people -- oftentimes other people that you would know -- to enjoy the party, not just watch the parade as it goes by but also after the parade. It should be over by 8 o'clock or even right before 8 o'clock. So after that you can visit, fellowship, enjoy some great food.
"We're also going to have a lot of great raffle prizes. Not only do you get just a night of entertainment by going to the Parade Party at Stonewall Manor but you also have your ticket, which doubles as your Shop Bartow card, which gives you great holiday discounts at literally dozens of local restaurants and businesses ... The money that you're spending to have a good time that night is all going towards helping people that really need help here in our community, whether it be the kids that are helped through AYP or whether it be the people that are in need of a hot meal and some cheer when they come to the Community Christmas Luncheon. So we feel like it's pretty much a win for everybody all around."
The Shop Bartow Discount cards can be purchased at Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, United Community Bank in Adairsville and WBHF Radio. A list of businesses that are offering discounts is posted at www.bartowbusinessconnection.com.
For more information about the Shop Bartow Discount cards and Community Christmas Luncheon, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tina Jennings at 678-899-9525.