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SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 2007
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Athens Fire and Rescue's Chuck Talley gets a thank-you hug from Pat Wilson while Talley and other members of the Athens Fire Department present a check to the Birdie Thornton Center and the Athens-Limestone ARC. The Athens Fire Department visited nine different places to deliver checks with the $12,593 the department made through the Bean Day Fundraiser.
Daily photo by Emily Saunder
Athens Fire and Rescue's Chuck Talley gets a thank-you hug from Pat Wilson while Talley and other members of the Athens Fire Department present a check to the Birdie Thornton Center and the Athens-Limestone ARC. The Athens Fire Department visited nine different places to deliver checks with the $12,593 the department made through the Bean Day Fundraiser.

Gift-giving not taking holiday
Athens area agencies benefit
from Bean Day fundraiser

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — Santa has come and gone, but the giving spirit isn't taking a holiday.

This week, Athens agencies, programs and even a city park received gifts that, in turn, will benefit the community.

For many, the gifts came not from a jolly old elf in red, but from men in shiny red trucks. The Athens Fire Department spent Friday delivering checks to places like the Athens-Limestone Food and Shelter Program.

The department annually hosts the Bean Day fundraiser and donates proceeds to community agencies and programs.

The Food and Shelter Program received $500. Director Mike Ford said the program regularly receives canned goods from the public, but it runs out of items like flour, milk and sugar.

"The proceeds from the firefighters help us provide well-rounded meals to our needy families," Ford said. "What they do is most appreciated, and we also appreciate the community supporting Bean Day. I know there was standing room only at last year's event."

Emily Haney, director of the Council on Aging, which received $1,000, said the firefighters are "demonstrating the true meaning of living in a small town."

"We can use that money to buy things we don't get funding for," she said.

Others who benefited from Bean Day were:

  • Alabama Veterans Museum, $250.

  • Learn-To-Read Council, $250.

  • Athens-Limestone Kidney Association, $1,000.

  • Birdie Thornton Center, $1,000.

  • Boys & Girls Club, $500.

  • Hospice, $1,000.

  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, $500.

  • Red Cross, $500.

  • The Ultz family, whose daughter underwent a transplant, $1,400.

    The department also uses Bean Day funds to provide Christmas for one needy child from each city and county school. At Christmastime, the department spent $4,693 on those children.

    An Athens park committee also benefited from the giving spirit.

    IDMC, a company at Elkmont Industrial Park, gave the Lincoln-Bridgeforth Park Committee $300 on Wednesday.

    Committee member Jimmy Gill said that money goes toward community events at the park, such as the annual Christmas tree lighting and summer barbecue cook-off.

    At the yearly lighting, Santa visits with children from the Boys and Girls Club.

    At the cook-off, the community gathers to watch local grill masters compete for the best ribs, bologna and seafood.

    "That park is a popular meeting area for its community," Gill said. "We want to keep offering opportunities for people to use it."

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