This month's article is written by my wife Diane Schools. She was the Chairman of the Holiday Parade, and is very involved in volunteer activities in Carteret County.
November was another great month for Emerald Isle to show its community spirit. The big event for the month was the "1st Emerald Isle Holiday Parade". The organization of the event was truly a community event, with a large number of people contributing their time and energy. If I listed all of the helpers, I would surely leave someone out, but the members of the Business Association, the Town Employees, and the parade entrants, all played a big part. I thank you all.
The event was held at 4 PM on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so that non-resident homeowners and visitors, as well as the residents could enjoy it. By all accounts everyone had a great time. Not only was the parade itself exciting, but there were many stories around town about how much fun the parade entrants were having preparing for the event. There were 75 entries for the parade, which certainly exceeded our hopes for the first year. After the parade there was a tree lighting ceremony, caroling, cookies and cider, and "visits with Santa" at Merchants Park. Check out the wonderful tree that was donated by Carolina Home and Garden to be used as our official Emerald Isle Christmas Tree. The tree is decorated with lights and ornaments purchased by individuals and businesses.
Another special event was the lunchtime barbecue and bake sale fundraiser held by Century 21 - Coastland Realty and Village Market for the benefit of Habitat for Humanity. Many ladies in town prepared all sorts of deserts that were sold at the event with the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity. Thanks to the many Emerald Isle businesses and citizens that supported the event by purchasing lunches. The event was a huge success with over $2,900 being raised.
And last but not least, I want to commend all of the Emerald Isle real estate rental agencies for participating in the program to collect food for the Carteret County Domestic Violence Program and Food Bank. Doris Speicher started this program last year. Each rental agency is a drop-off point for renters to leave unopened food as they check out at the end of their stay. Many renters find that they have accumulated more things than they have room for in the car. This program gives them the opportunity to help others, and at the same time free up a little extra space in the car.
The tremendous community spirit displayed by the people and businesses of Emerald Isle helps make this a wonderful place to live. The above are only a few of the many good things that the people of Emerald Isle have done during the past year. I thank all of you for your generosity. I am truly proud to be a member of such a caring community.
I wish all of you a very happy holiday season, and I hope all of you are able to spend at least part of it in Emerald Isle.