Your Town, Dec. 23, 2012

I ‘m guilty of bad timing, most of the time.

I’ll call customer service, five minutes after it’s closed, I approach the traffic light, just as it turns red, or I switch stations on the radio, catching the last few seconds my favorite song.

But, my timing was nearly perfect when an act of goodwill played out in front of me recently. I was driving by a shopping center and near the entrance to the parking lot stood a panhandler, holding a sign and looking forlorn. 

As per usual, I slowed for the “just changed” red light and stopped in the line of traffic, near the man, whose handwritten sign spelled out, “Anything helps.” I also saw two young boys, who looked like brothers, riding their bikes past him. The older boy, who was probably 11 or 12, had stopped his bike and turned to watch his brother, who was probably 6 or 7. The younger boy was walking back toward the panhandler and was grinning, ear to ear. He approached the panhandler with a timid excitement, his arm extended toward the man, holding something tightly in his fist. The boy loosened his grip and dropped a wad of crumpled dollar bills in the man’s hand.

The boy kept smiling. The man smiled in return. The light changed and the traffic in front of me began to move. I kept looking back in the rearview mirror, attempting to see how the rest of the scene played out.

The joy of giving was smeared — like peanut butter and jelly — all over the boy’s little face. It was magical. It was Christmas giving at its finest — Christmas in the eyes of a child. And that, I was reminded, is what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas!

The fourth annual Knit-a-thon event will bring together knitters and crocheters of all ages to make hats for newborns and premature babies at the hospital, as well as people who are homeless.

The event begins at 7 p.m. Jan. 4, at Community of Christ Church, 2880 B 1/2 Road. There will be youth activities and lodging is available for the weekend.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 5, the knitting and crocheting will get under way and will continue throughout the day. Additional youth activities will be provided, including a game of flag football. A celebration of the day will happen Saturday evening, at Banana’s Fun Park.

Yarn and looms will be provided for those not able to use needles and hooks and extra needles and hooks will be available, if needed. Drop in for a few hours or stay all day.

Call Naomi Barlow at 623-1455 for more information.

Colorado Legal Services and the Pro Bono Project will host a Do-It-Yourself Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Clinic from 9–11 a.m. Jan. 8, at the Mesa County Courthouse, multi-purpose room, 544 Rood Ave.

The clinic is offered to outline the steps to follow when filing a Chapter 7 (personal) bankruptcy. The clinic is for low-income debtors who will qualify. To determine if you qualify, get a bankruptcy application through Colorado Legal Services by calling 243-7940, ext. 4 or visit the office, 200 N Sixth St., Suite 203. You will receive a letter from CLS indicating whether you qualify. If you qualify and plan to attend the clinic, you will then need to register by calling 243-7940, ext. 4.

AARP will offer the Driving Safety program from 1–5 p.m. Jan. 16, at the Redlands Methodist Church and from 1–5 p.m. Feb. 11, at the Fruita Community Center.

AARP offers the course to senior drivers to help them become better and safer drivers on the highways. Successful completion of the four-hour course should offer a significant reduction in your automobile insurance rates.

Advance registration is required by calling the site locations or Roy Rolland at 858-1514.

The Uncompahgre Mule Deer Chapter has launched in Montrose and will have its first banquet Jan. 26, at the Holiday Inn Express in Montrose.

Tickets to the banquet are $60 and include membership in the Mule Deer Foundation. Corporate tables are also available. Tickets will not be sold at the door and space is limited. To purchase tickets or for more information, call Mark Harman at 970-901-1516.

A Holiday Cup of Cheer open house is set for 1–3 p.m. Wednesday, at The Commons of Hilltop, 625 27 1/2 Road.

Snacks and warm beverages will be served and visitors can take guided tours of the nearby Fountains and Cottages communities. Representatives from Hilltop Home Care will be available to answer questions about senior services and Senior Daybreak staff will be on hand to discuss dementia and Alzheimer’s issues and available care options.

The event is open to the public.Call 243-3333 for information.

Submit your Planner and community news items by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to P.O. Box 668, Grand Junction, CO, 81502. Items to be considered for Your Town should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.


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