The Buzz June 28 2012

Douglas set for Joe Farris Day

DOUGLAS — Joe Farris, the St. Jude Santa Claus, will be at the center of events Sunday as he prepares for his 101st trip from Southwest Georgia to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

for the 7th consecutive year, the Douglas County Commission has declared July 1 as Joe Farris Day in the county. Farris observes the day by setting up at the city’s Kmart to accept donations of toys and money for his summer trip to St. Jude, set for July 16.

Since the 1960s, Farris has been making the trips to St. Jude to bring toys and monetary donations to the research hospital, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, that focuses on combatting childhood diseases, particular leukemia. Farris made his first trips each December, then added a second trip each year in July because of the mortality rate in the early years of the hospital. In the decades since, the research done at the hospital as substantially improved the survivability rates for various forms of childhood leukemia, but Farris has continued with his tradition of visiting twice a year.

On his visits, Farris dons a Santa Claus costumes and hands out gifts to young inpatients and outpatients who are receiving the treatment at the time of his visits.

Those who want to make a donation may send a check made out to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to Joe Farris, P.O. Box 2228, Douglas, Ga. 31734. Farris will deliver the checks, along with contributions and toys he collects Sunday in Douglas, on his July 16 visit.

Independence Day celebration Tuesday

COLQUITT — A “Fabulous 4th of July” celebration, including a fireworks show, is planned for 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday at Spring Creek Park in Colquitt.

The event includes entertainment that starts at 6 p.m. local performers, followed at 7:30 p.m. by a patriotic service by the American Legion and the VFW. At 8 p.m., Doug George and Midnight Blue featuring Roger Davis will perform on stage. Food — including barbecue, boiled peanuts and drinks — will be available, as will inflatables for children to play on. No coolers will be allowed.

The highlight of the evening will be a fireworks show that starts at dark.

For information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 9229) 758-2400.