Sara McGibany of Alton Marketplace writes,
“I have been inspired by Greg Mortenson’s message of peace and community involvement, and I am thrilled to be a part of Mayor Hoechst’s first call to action for the newly named ‘Alton Caring Corps.’ It speaks volumes that the City of Alton has initiated this platform for service organizations to reach potential supporters, and it warms my heart to know that our new administration will be working hard to promote volunteerism in our community.
“Alton Marketplace and the Junior League of Greater Alton have been organizing the ‘Castle of Cans’ food drive at the annual Tree Lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square for two years, and we hope that having the support of the Alton Caring Corps will grow our efforts by leaps & bounds! We construct a giant castle out of the donated food items, which will be on display for the evening & then delivered to our local food pantries. We hope that you will help the less fortunate and provide our building blocks by bringing canned goods to the event on Friday, November 20th at 6pm. You can also drop off your donations in advance in the lobbies of Alton City Hall, the Alton Police Department, or either of the Alton Fire Stations any time before 5pm on Tuesday, November 17th.
“I hope that you will join us for our community’s kickoff holiday event, which is always held on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on the trolley at 6:00, and the free festivities including caroling, candy, cookies, hot cocoa and prize drawings for kids will continue until 6:45 when Mayor Hoechst flips the lights on our beautiful tree, which is provided by the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club.
“More fun activities will be going on in the 3rd Street area following the tree lighting, and free trolley transportation has been arranged between 3rd Street and the Square. From 7:00-9:00 you can meet a live reindeer, hear more holiday carols and see a performance by the A-Town Steppers. Please bring your cameras to capture free photos of your family with Santa and the live reindeer.
“The public is encouraged to make a night of it and enjoy the fun activities in the district while patronizing our downtown merchants for their holiday shopping and enjoying new and improved holiday decorations provided by Alton Marketplace and Downtown Alton Inc. Your downtown improvement organizations have put a lot of hard work into this event, and we hope to see you on the 20th for a wonderful evening of holiday cheer!”