Thursday, December 19, 2019

Stumbling Santa, Jingle Bell Ball, Emmanuel Meal

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 4:06 PM

click to enlarge This isn't me, but I wish I'd thought of it. This is a Joker  Santa at Porter-Leath's Santa Pub Crawl. More photos follow. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • This isn't me, but I wish I'd thought of it. This is a Joker Santa at Porter-Leath's Santa Pub Crawl. More photos follow.

Everyone got to be Santa for a night at the Porter-Leath Stumbling Santa Pub Crawl. But some people opted to be elves or reindeer.

About 3,500 people attended this year’s event, which was held December 7th. It began at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium and continued to Beale Street.

“It has grown every year,” says Rob Hughes, Porter-Leath’s vice president of development.

Guests were asked to donate toys. They received “somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500. We filled the truck.”

About half the guests brought money. They raised about $3,000, Hughes says.

For the first time in its 15-year-history, Stumbling Santa founders Bob Burditt and Roland Shapley didn’t host the event. Burditt and Shapley passed the torch to Ian and Katie Haywood.

As Bob says: “We’re a couple of old farts. We want to let the younger people do it.”


                                       SEEN AT STUMBLING SANTA:
click to enlarge ian and Katie Haywood - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • ian and Katie Haywood
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click to enlarge Jingle Bell Ball - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • Jingle Bell Ball

Jingle Bell Ball - a group of parties for children and teenagers held on the same day - celebrated its 31st anniversary December 8th.

“Can you believe anybody doing anything 31 years?” says the ball’s founder/general chairperson Pat Kerr Tigrett. “I just can’t give it up. It’s the kickoff date for the whole holiday season for me. Seeing amazing children.”

The parties, which were at the Peabody, drew about 750, Tigrett says. “That’s an awfully lot of kids in one afternoon to deal with.”

The series of parties include one for special needs children, the Cookie Party for toddlers through second grade, one for third and fourth graders, and another one for fifth through sixth graders.

Tigrett used to do a party for seventh and eighth graders. She noticed the young women were showing up in limousines with book bags. Tigrett thought they were “going to study at the Jingle Bell Ball.”

But, she says, “The book bags were full of beer. They were hiding the beer in the poinsettias. But I didn’t know that until I finally caught them.”


click to enlarge Jingle Bell Ball - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Jingle Bell Ball
click to enlarge Jingle Bell Ball - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Jingle Bell Ball
click to enlarge Jingle Bell Ball - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Jingle Bell Ball
click to enlarge Jingle Bell Ball - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Jingle Bell Ball
click to enlarge A turkey feast was served at Emmanuel Meal at Calvary Episcopal Church. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • A turkey feast was served at Emmanuel Meal at Calvary Episcopal Church.

Emmanuel Meal - a holiday tradition at Calvary Episcopal Church - celebrated its 40th anniversary December 16th.

“Our mission at Calvary is making God’s love visible in downtown Memphis,” says Christine Todd, Calvary’s coordinator of community ministries. “So, one of the ways we do that is by inviting our homeless and disenfranchised neighbors to a lovely meal with an abundance of love and volunteers.”

This year’s event drew 387 guests, Todd says. “We had over 100 volunteers from Calvary. It took three days of preparation - not counting weeks of raising money and doing different things.”

Guests were treated to a turkey feast, a new coat, a new pair of socks, gloves, hats, and other gifts. “Macy’s and Soles4Souls donated 400 brand new coats. A lot of the people who got them had never had a new coat before.”

And, she says, “Bombas gave us 2,050 socks, but we’ve been using them all year.”
And Empty Bowls “gave us a generous donation,” she says.

Ed Crenshaw cooked all the turkeys. And Calvin Turley organized all the musicians.

Episcopal bishop Phoebe Roaf also attended. "She is a servant leader," Todd says. "She came and greeted people with Rev. Scott Walters.”

Roaf and Walters also volunteered. “They walk the walk."


click to enlarge Helario Reyna and Jenny Maddon at Calvary Episcopal Church. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Helario Reyna and Jenny Maddon at Calvary Episcopal Church.
click to enlarge Roman Darker, Margaret Newton, Darius "Mak" Clayton, and Rev. Audrey Taylor Gonzalez at Calvary Episcopal Church. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Roman Darker, Margaret Newton, Darius "Mak" Clayton, and Rev. Audrey Taylor Gonzalez at Calvary Episcopal Church.

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