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From the Desk of Emmitsburg
 Mayor Don Briggs

(12/2014) A tradition restored from much earlier times, the town Christmas tree lighting on the Square will fall on Monday, December 1st. Holiday music will begin at 5:00 pm with caroling by Silver Lining and the Mother Seton School chorus beginning at 5:45 pm. The tree lighting will be at 6:00 pm. Then a visit by a very, very, special guest at 6:15 pm.

At the close of the festivities on the Square it is down to the Evening of Christmas Spirit at the Carriage House Inn for one on one with Santa, entertainment, free hotdogs and hot chocolate, hay rides and more.

Also on December 1st Reese Fryer from the town office and Libby and I will start the morning off reading with Emmitsburg Elementary School kindergarten and 1st grade students. December 11th I will make a presentation to the Mother Seton School 4th grade as I did in November at the elementary school. These presentations are very special. Itís the trusting anticipation in their eyes, the arms waving and the overwhelming uptick of a collective enthusiastic pulse to participate and ask questions. We have a bright future ahead of us with them, IF, we assure them, it is for them...

With The annual Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA) awards dinner on December 5th, itís a good time to extend some tribute. What better example of the sentiment the holiday season brings than the quiet continued service of the EBPA. The "Change for Food" program EBPA started 6 years ago has raised over $36,000 for the Emmitsburg Food Bank. The EBPA scholarship fund has raised over $21,000. In addition to sponsoring the Community Day fireworks, recently the EBPA donated $1,000 for a tourist kiosk located on the square. Thank you to EBPA members for the continued community support and reminder that things can get done.

November brings with it many activities that for me activates all emotions. Starting with the Mount Athletic Committee meeting where results of outgoing student athletic exit interviews were reviewed. The concern that the school administration has for a positive student experience is remarkable. The student comes first. It is something often lost at larger schools.

Then the somber emotions that the Veteranís Day ceremony of our local honor guard bring. On the 11th day at 11 am during the 11th month every year the observance of a three volley twenty-one gun salute followed by the bugler playing taps takes place and is repeated at all the cemeteries in honor of those who gave so much for us.

I was out of town and missed the annual Emmitsburg Wattle Waddle on Thanksgiving morning. An annual event started in 2009 by the Weigelt family, participation has steadily grown each year. A wonderful way to sooth your conscience before sitting down for the big meal. This year's proceeds went to support the Seton Center.

In November the town received an early Christmas present, an award from the Maryland Energy Administration for its success and leadership in the Maryland Smart Energy Communities program. Quite an accomplishment. Congratulations to the staff for the hard work. To us their efforts translate into a less expensive government.

Finally if you want to give your family the best and most lasting gift of the year, clean out your medicine cabinet of unused prescription drugs. Bring them to the town office where the sheriffís drop box is located. Much of our heroin addiction starts with left over prescription drugs.

From my family and from the town staff, "Merry Christmas."

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