VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Members of the city of Valdosta Fire Department, fire chief Brian Boutwell, and mayor Scott James Matheson delivered Christmas gifts to the residents at Parkwood Development Center Wednesday.
These gifts consisted of donations made by the community for the annual Mayor's Motorcade.
"This event is fantastic. Our clients and staff look forward to it every December. We were already on the porch before they drove up this year because we love to see the look on our client's faces as the trucks arrive with their sirens on. It makes my heart swell and brings tears to my eyes," said Parkwood Recreation Director Patricia Newbern.
This excitement is mirrored with the fire department as chief Boutwell describes it as a blessing to participate. "Every year, we say that we come to bring a blessing but end up leaving feeling even more blessed ourselves," said Brian Boutwell.
This beloved tradition was established decades ago by the Georgia Municipal Association and former Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver to make the holiday season memorable for persons with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs and, of course, would not be possible without the generosity of our residents.
"The entire community comes together to collect these gifts, and we have the chance to deliver them. It is very special to us. This is a community caring for its community, and it is truly great to watch," said Matheson.