By: Ernie Wren
It’s great to see the new location of Helping Hands Southern Boone open up! This “Free Store” offers a great many choices at no charge: household items, non-perishable foods, clothes, holiday meals, and much more. The new location at the old Ashland Pharmacy, 113 E. Broadway, opened up this past Monday. During the holiday season this non-profit group is hit hard with requests for services, especially for holiday meals and household needs, so consider donating!

One of their services, Project Thanksgiving, is currently in full swing. The project distributes baskets that include a full Thanksgiving meal. What started out at 5 baskets the first year has grown to 35 this year. Helping Hands free coat racks can also be found at several locations around town, offering coats, hats, and scarves to any that need them. 100% of donations are given out, as this is entirely volunteer-run operation. A special THANK YOU to Kellye McCord, Sandy Robinson, board members, volunteers, and the donors that make this happen!

One of the great offerings at the Southern Boone Library, compliments of Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health, is the “Health on Wheels” outreach visits this month on these Wednesdays; November 22nd, December 13th and 27th. A wide variety of health assessments such as blood pressure, diabetes, and free Covid tests can be had for those 18 and over. You can find this van in the library’s parking lot. The Ashland Baptist Church will have a food bank and diaper drive through distribution on Tuesday, December 19th, from 3pm to 6pm.

Reminder that if you need a good meal on Thanksgiving, Brenda Ravenscraft, former owner/cook at the former Skyline Café, will be providing her annual Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 23rd, from 10am to 2pm, at the Southern Boone Middle School. Cost is a suggested donation (not required) in support of “Welcome Home: A Community for Veterans”, a non-profit Veteran-centric organization. This will be cash/check only with dine-in and carryout options.

Brenda with one of her delicious homemade pies

Make plans for the Annual Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting hosted by the City of Ashland’s Park and Rec Board. The event will take place on Friday, Dec. 1, starting with a parade lineup at the Primary School at 5:30pm. The parade judging will commence at 6pm, with the parade moving out at 6:30pm along the normal routes of Henry Clay north to turning east on Broadway, then north at Main to the city park. After the parade, Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus will take part in a tree lighting ceremony with pictures and “Moose Munch” at the gazebo in the city park (sponsored by the Southern Boone Chamber of Commerce). This is some great, old fashioned Christmas holiday fun that all families can enjoy.

Then on Saturday, Dec. 2, go have Breakfast/Pizza with Santa in your PJs from 8am to 6pm at the Ashland American Legion. Finally, don’t miss the Ashland Betterment Coalition’s “Rockin’ With Santa & His Reindeer” Event on Friday, Dec. 8th from 5-7pm at In Any Event.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill