Leila Sisson Case: The Christmas mingle jingle merry-go-round

Published 12:37 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It’s a mingle jingle merry-go-round Christmas filled with cheerful festivities.
Topping our list of bags full of joy is that John Richard Larendon Barrett, my youngest grandson, graduated Georgia Southwestern State University with the bachelor of science degree in marketing during impressive graduation exercises at the Storm Dome Dec. 13. We were all there to see and applaud this milestone in John’s life, and I’m more than blessed to have been present. Kudos to his parents Mark and Anne Barrett — it takes a village to shape and guide a child.
The graduation celebration continued that evening at a delightful family dinner party hosted by John’s parents and Steve and Sarah McClain and daughter, Courtney Minnix, at their country home, Venison Vines. It was truly a red-letter day and over–the-top wonderful.
OK, bragging over. Let’s move on to applaud the Americus Junior Service League — the community’s largest women’s volunteer service organization — for their contributions during this past year that were celebrated at a festive Christmas brunch at The Carnegie on Dec. 15.
Highlights included passing of the president’s gavel from Angie Brunson, 2018 president, to Mackenzie Greene, 2019 president, along with presentation of the Volunteer of the Year award to Caitlin Downs and the Honorary of the Year award to Meg Scott. Kudo’s ladies for the great service to the community.
Brunson has been an exceptional president leading the organization this past year that included three highly successful fundraisers: “Something Southern: From our Table to Yours” cookbook, the inaugural Character Café and the ever-popular Cowpoke Carnival. Brunson applauded actives for their many hours of volunteer service reporting that through their efforts the organization met their ever-growing budget. All monies raised are returned to the local community and used for countless worthy causes.
Brunson recognized the 2018 board members, describing them as, “a driving force in everything they do and instrumental in every decision made this year. Their guidance and collaborative efforts have been a major influence on the league, and a pleasure to have worked closely with each of them. Their tremendous support carrying out this year’s duties is greatly appreciated.” They include: MacKenzie Greene, first vice president; Kristi Clements, second vice president; Emily Anne Strickland, third vice president; Ashlee Parks, recording secretary; Hannah Ricketts, corresponding secretary; Taylor Michelle Andrews, treasurer; Morgan Whaley, assistant treasurer; Lauren Shemwell, sergeant at arms; Misty Anderson, parliamentarian; Felicia Harper, entertainment chairman and co-chairman, Katie Tondee, and past president Dr. Patty Fennessy.
And members achieving honorary status were applauded for their years of volunteer service. They are: Misty Anderson, Chelsea Collins, Lauren Covington, Ashli Drew, Katie Duncan, Patty Fennessy, M.D., Tiffany Hingle, Jeannie Justice, Holly Mitchell, Kasey Sellars, and Lauren Shemwell.
After accepting the president’s gavel, Greene announced the 2019 board members: Taylor Michelle Andrews, first vice president, and Elizabeth Greene, co-chairman; Hannah Ricketts, second vice president, Angie Flegel, co-chairman; Felicia Harper, third vice president, Caitlin Downs, co-chairman; Alex Riccardi, recording secretary; Kristi Clements, corresponding secretary; Jenny Frantz, treasurer; Morgan Whaley, assistant treasurer; Megan Scott, sergeant-at arms; Brittney Singley, parliamentarian; Kathie Tondee, entertainment and co-chairman, Ashley Austin; and Brunson, immediate vice president.
Meanwhile, Col. Steve (U.S. Army retired.) and Jeannie Stanfield endured the bitter cold weather in Philadelphia at the Army-Navy football game the weekend of Dec. 8 thanks to tickets provided by Herschel Smith of Americus, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and retired from active duty. While in Philadelphia, the Stansfields toured the Metropolitan Museum, visited the Liberty Bell, and enjoyed many delightful outdoor artists’ markets.
Elsewhere, Americus Rotary Club’s annual Christmas party, Tinsel Tuesday, held at Daphne Lodge, was a festive occasion enjoyed by more than 40 Rotarians and guests.
Lisa Baily Holloway, an accomplished pianist, entertained the Council of Safety, DAR, members with a wide selection of holiday melodies at the December meeting hosted by Beth Lane, Elaine Smith, and Lynn McNeill Anderson.
My week began on a cheerful note: lunch with two of my favorite former colleagues, Beth Alston and Carol Norton, at Ruby Tuesday. While there Regional Eye Center’s large staff also gathered for lunch and a fun gift exchange.
As aforementioned, it’s a mingle jingle Christmas holiday that keeps on jingling.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.