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City collecting gifts for state patients

The City of Bainbridge will be doing its part to make the holiday season special for residents of the state’s mental health and retardation hospitals.

For 50 years, cities across Georgia have brought the joy of the holiday season to patients at Georgia’s seven regional mental health and retardation hospitals through the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade.

The hospital is one of eight regional mental health and retardation hospitals in Georgia.

The Mayors’ Motorcade, begun in 1958 by the Georgia Municipal Association in cooperation with former Gov. Ernest Vandiver, relies on Georgia citizens’ donations of gifts, which are then delivered to mental health patients around the state.

Many of the patients would not otherwise receive gifts or Christmas greetings without the help of communities and volunteers taking part in the program. According to hospital staff, many of the patients at these hospitals have lived most of their lives there and have infrequent contact with friends and family.

Donated items from the City of Bainbridge will be delivered to Southwestern State Hospital in Thomasville on Thursday, Dec. 11. Civic organizations, businesses, churches, schools, scout troops and individual citizens are encouraged to help with the collection of the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade.

For more information on how groups can participate, people may contact Paige Robinson at 248-2017.