Odds and Ends
If you happened to be listening to powerhouse station WBAP 820AM in DFW last week (where I broadcast my Sunday morning radio programs), you heard us doing a 65-hour Christmas is for Caring radiothon fund- and gift-raiser for the Denton State Supported Living Center.
(All CIFC photos by Valerie Avery, Director of the Volunteer Services of DSSLC. Valerie is the sensational leader of this team of hundreds of volunteers.)
This was the 43rd annual CIFC campaign. I’ve been involved for 42 of them, and I’ve seen them bring out the very best in my fellow Texans.
The men and women who call the Denton State Supported Living Center home live each day with profound physical and mental challenges. I had the good fortune of serving on the Volunteer Services board for 30 years, so I am well familiar with the facility and what it does to help these children of God.
This year we again sought two gifts for each of the 450 residents. Listeners called and took those 900 gifts off our lists in the first day of the drive (first time ever!). The folks at WBAP could not have been more supportive!
Each person bought and wrapped the gifts and took them to their choice of the 21 Calloways Nursery locations in DFW.
Members of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association Region 5 (the Fort Worth region), headed by the Whisenand family of Whiz-Q Stone of Fort Worth, picked up all the gifts and delivered them to the Denton SSLC over the weekend.
As a side note, I just have to say that Region 5 of TNLA makes me so proud to be a part of the Texas nursery industry. Well done, again, my friends! They have been standing alongside the DSSLC for at least 25 or 30 years.
Step 2 of the donations came as we sought funds to build a new horticultural therapy greenhouse at the DSSLC. This would be to replace the one that burned to the ground several years ago. We completed that drive by Wednesday evening. Construction on the greenhouse will begin sometime in early 2022.
Thursday and Friday we sought funds to provide special meals to each resident. Because of the pandemic, they’ve been campus-bound since March 2020, and having one or two meals brought in from local restaurants so they could dine with their friends tells them that we remember them and care about them.
And again, we were successful in raising those funds. Thanks to all who contributed! You were absolutely amazing!
Now, as for the Santas…
I have been collecting and painting Santas for probably 40 years. I have carved Santas, and I have painted many flat Santas.
I love painting gourds because they’re Santa-shaped to start with.
But perhaps my favorites are the ones I paint from antique European chocolate molds from the 1930s. I’ve bought several hundreds of the molds over the years. Some are fairly simple, but others such as the glorious ones made in the factory of Anton Reiche of Dresden, Germany, have incredible detail.
Note: Here is a 12-minute documentary video on the huge Anton Reiche chocolate mold factory in case you’d like to learn a bit more.
My migraine-associated vertigo has made Santa painting more difficult for the past 5-plus years. With the help of a vision specialist I’m trying new glasses and new aides. Maybe something will work.
These are photos of Santas I’ve made over time. I hope you enjoy them. If not, I have scores of others I can share another year. 🙂