Tifton Gazette

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December 5, 2013

Trees headed to troops in time for the holidays

CHULA —

The first pickup of Christmas trees at the Brumby and White Christmas Tree Farm Thursday morning for the Trees for Troops program was a success as volunteers helped cut, bale, tag and load the trees to be delivered to designated pickup points throughout the area.

The farm is owned by Mike Brumby and J.H. White. This year marks their seventh year participating in the Trees for Troops program. Locals are given the opportunity to purchase a Christmas tree for servicemen and women in need.

Tifton and Cordele National Guard soldiers and Wayne Duffell, commander of the local American Legion Post 21, were on hand at the farm to help with the loading of the trees. Helpers with Pinecrest Baptist Church in Cordele transported the trees. Brian Bracewell, an employee at the farm, helped load the trees as well.

Not only were there volunteers at the Christmas tree farm helping with Trees for Troops, but there were also students and preschool migrant students from the J.M. Odom Elementary School and Eighth Street Middle School Special Hearts class there to visit. Santa Claus (Leon Benefield) was there to greet visitors as well. 

Benefield, smiling, told The Tifton Gazette that the most requests he received from students for Christmas presents were Barbies and remote control cars. While at the farm, the ESMS students helped pick out a Christmas tree for bus driver Flo Richards.

Duffell said Post 21 paid for 10 trees this year, and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 21, for which his wife, Ann, is treasurer, paid for 20 trees. White said a lot of local businesses and individuals have donated to Trees for Troops.

“They’re always willing to help out,” he said.

To donate $25 for a Christmas tree to go to a military family in need, visit the Brumby and White Christmas Tree Farm at 808 Chula-Brookfield Road, or mail all donations to P.O. Box 1554, Tifton, GA 31793. Make checks payable to Trees for Troops.

The Christmas tree farm is open from noon until dark Monday through Friday; from 10 a.m. until dark on Saturdays; and from 1 p.m. until dark on Sundays. Contact Brumby at 382-7515 or White at 382-3072 for any questions or to volunteer with the next pickup.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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