‘Friends’ return for Christmas at Pike Activities Center

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

Even before the Christmas candles had burned down last year, the clients at Pike Activity Center in Brundidge were asking, “When are our friends coming back?”

Louise Nickson, Center instructor, said the clients began looking forward to “next” Christmas and their visit from their friends at First National Bank of Brundidge as soon as the party was over last year.

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“For some of our clients, the visit from their friends at the bank is the only Christmas they get,” Nickson said. “This party means so much to all of them and everything to some of them.”

Jimmy Ramage, bank president and CEO, said that several years ago, the bank employees decided to forego their own Christmas party and do something for others.

“Instead of exchanging names here at the bank, we decided to choose the clients at the Center and provide them with a Christmas party and gifts,” Ramage said. “We found that we get more from giving than receiving. We look forward to Christmas at the Pike Activity Center almost as much as the clients do.”

The bank is given a list of the clients and suggestions for gift items they need or would enjoy.

“Most of the gifts are clothes but we also get things for them to enjoy,” Ramage said.

“This year, we got several requests for the radios that you listen to with earphones. And, one man wanted a large print Bible so he could read it at church. It’s a real joy to see how much the clients enjoy and appreciate the presents and the party and the fellowship.”

Ramage said many of the clients have been at the Center for several years.

“So, we know each other,” he said. “Their faces light up when we come in and we all have a good time together.”

The clients presented a skit for the bank employees and the Center staff.

“Each year, the clients present a different skit,” Ramage said. “They work hard preparing it and do a great job. Everybody enjoys what they do for us.”

The Pike Activity Center has 30 clients in its day care program. Danny Zapata is the Center director.

“It’s a wonderful place for our clients and it’s a blessing to have place like this where we can celebrate Christmas together,” Nickson said.

“We all thank First National Bank for making Christmas special.”