Christmas tree for Halls; veterans honored

Sandra ClarkFeature, Halls

Halls will have a community Christmas tree this year and for years to come, thanks to the efforts of the Halls Crossroads Women’s League.

The 12-foot tree has already grown since its planting in April at Clayton Park, according to League member Gail Cox. The evergreen giant arborvitae could eventually reach a height of 30 feet.

The inaugural lighting is set for Saturday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. at Clayton Park on Norris Freeway. Everyone is invited. In addition to lighting the tree, carolers dressed in period costumes will spread Christmas cheer and hot chocolate will be free for attendees, said Cox.

Gail Browning, Delores Kopp and Janis Crye were co-chairs of the tree planting project.

Halls veterans honored

In November, the Women’s League honored military veterans with a lunch for more than 70 veterans and their families held Nov. 9 at Salem Baptist Church.

Randy Smith, U.S. Air Force, pictured with his son, is deploying to Afghanistan.

Veterans who attended represented the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U. S. Marines, U.S. Air Force, U. S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army National Guard. Many had served in the United States and across the world including Europe, Vietnam, New Zealand, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Australia, Okinawa and the Far East.

League president Susan Smith welcomed the group and Janie Branam recognized individual veterans by name, branch, years of service and service location. Bud Ford was master of ceremonies, and Danny Gaylor gave the invocation.

Buddy’s Bar-B-Q served pulled pork, slaw, potato salad and baked beans. League members also treated the attendees to chocolate and vanilla cake with patriotic icing of red, white and blue. Approximately 130 people attended the event.

In past years, the league has sponsored trucks for the veterans to participate in the downtown Knoxville Veterans Parade but due to the cold rain and wind, they did not participate this year.

Many league members assisted in welcoming and serving the guests. Gail Browning, Delores Kopp and Sharon Graves were committee chairs for the event.

The veterans lunch sponsored by the Halls Crossroads Women’s League.

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