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St. Nick nominees sought after

Nominations for the 2009 Saint Nicholas are being solicited by the Christmas of the River committee until Monday, Nov. 16.

“Nominees must be members of the community who have possessed the Christmas spirit throughout the year and have exhibited it with their generosity and compassion toward children,” said Carla Keen, the chair of the Saint Nicholas committee.

“These St. Nicholas nominees may include — but are not limited to — church workers, sponsors of children and youth organizations, volunteer coaches of Demopolis parks and recreation teams, health care providers and teachers

“This year’s Saint Nicholas will be announced after the lantern light from the city landing to the Demopolis Civic Center on Monday, Nov. 30, at 5:30 p.m. At that time, the honoree will don the bishop-style Saint Nicholas robe and reign over the evening’s activities.”

The tradition of Saint Nicholas was added to the COTR festivities in 1989. Since then, 23 men and women have been accorded the honor. The first recipients were beloved Demopolis High School teacher Pat Hinson and Jim Carlson, who was an active community volunteer.

Jennifer Roemen, the 2009 COTR chair, received the honor in 1992. In 2001, the late Sandy Yeager, another beloved teacher, received the honor posthumously. In 2004, DHS assistant principal Booker Barlow received the honor, and a couple shared the honor in 2006, when Verne and June Humble were named Saint Nicholas for their leadership with Operation: Christmas Child’s shoebox project. Ann Parsons, the longtime chair of the COTR children’s parade and volunteer with Canebrake Players’ children’s productions, was crowned Saint Nicholas last year.

Citizens may nominate individuals for the honor by submitting signed letters of endorsements to the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 667, Demopolis, AL 36732-0667 no later Monday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. These letters should give reasons why nominees are deserving of the recognition. A team of out-of-town judges will study the nominations and select this year’s recipient.