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Mr. and Mrs. Jemison named at tree lighting

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Mr. and Mrs. Jemison for 2020 were named at the Jemison Christmas tree lighting.

The honor is awarded on an annual basis to a resident who is dedicated to the community.

Carol Easterling was named Mrs. Jemison, and Clay Mims was named Mr. Jemison.

“There is a committee, and they are chosen because of all the good things they do for our community,” event co-organizer Tammie McGriff said.

McGriff announced Mrs. Jemison.

“This is a lady that just gives so much to our community,” McGriff said. “He is a wonderful parent, grandparent and person all the way around. She helps people all the time that are sick … She is a great cook and we just love her so much.”

Easterling said she was not sure she measured in the same category as previous honorees.

“The only standard that I know that I do meet though,” Easterling said. “None of those ladies love Jemison more than I do. Thank you for this award.”

Event co-organizer Cheryl English announced Mr. Jemison

Mims is an agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor at Jemison High School.

“He is invaluable to us,” English said. “He is always there for us. Anytime we need a live animal he has us covered.”

She said he has helped with every event McGriff and English have organized for the city.

“You never know what they are going to want or need or ask for, but we are always willing to build something put it together and get it for them,” Mims said.

Both honorees are also career tech teachers.

Dr. Russell Stanley of Center Hill Baptist Church gave the invocation for the evening.

“The reason we are here and the reason for the season is that … Jesus is the Light of the World and when we light this Christmas tree here in a little bit and these lights go on, I want you to think about that,” Stanley said.

A candle lighting ceremony was held, in which Mayor Eddie Reed lit a candle and then lit community leaders’ candles from his. They in turn lit community members candles until all of them were lit.

English asked that attendees think of the blessing that they have, the community, those who need help and ways they could help during the ceremony.

“We want to remember the light of Jesus,” English said. “Let this light be a reflection of that.

Attendees sang “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

McGriff and English said it had been uncertain whether the event could be held this year because of COVID-19 concerns.

To maintain social distancing, the event was held outside.

Center Hill Baptist Church Engage Youth Group presented a live Nativity drama at the event.

The Jemison Angel Tree is now at the library for those who would like to buy a gift for a child who might not otherwise get something for Christmas.