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Ray and Jackie Edwards spread cheer around The Greater Valley Area

VALLEY — Ray and Jackie Edwards had some help in delivering Christmas stockings Friday morning. Great grandsons Gavin Walden and Ky Yates accompanied them to senior centers in Lanett and Valley and to Sylvia Word Manor. Three-year-old Ky stole everyone’s heart by showing how he’d learned to put two candy canes together forming the shape of a heart.

Friday wrapped up this year’s Christmas Stocking program for local seniors. A total of 350 red and white stockings were given away in LaFayette, West Point, Lanett and Valley. Each one was stuffed with apples or oranges, candy, a personally signed Christmas card and some small gifts.

“The Lord has really blessed us here in Valley,” Edwards told a group of approximately 50 people at his final stop at Valley Senior Center. “Jean Brown, director of the Alabama Department of Senior Services, was here at the Community Center for the State Masters Games back in Oct. We made sure she got to see our senior center. She was really impressed. There’s not another one like it in the state of Alabama.”

In attendance at the Friday morning event were Mayor Leonard and Commissioner Debra Riley.

“I want to thank Debra for helping us assemble the stockings this week,” Edwards said. “She was one of 15 people we had in the back of Timeless Antiques. It took us only an hour-and-a-half to get them all filled. In the past, I’ve done it by myself, and it took three of four days to get them all filled. To say the least, I really appreciate the help I got this year.”

Edwards thanked Riley and the city council for the work they have done for the city. “We have a lot of good things going on in the city right now,” he said.

Riley said there was so much going on right now that it’s not easy to keep up with everything. “We have a new water tank going up,” he said. “We are paving Valley Industrial Boulevard and we are continuing to clear land we have purchased. We are doing the best we can with your tax dollars. I want all of you to enjoy yourself, keep your health good and to have a merry Christmas and happy new year.”

Senior Center Director Melissa Pitchford wished everyone a merry Christmas. “It’s been a wonderful year for me being here at this center,” she said. “I love each and every one of you. You are in my heart. I want to thank Mr. Ray and Miss Jackie for doing this every year. Thank you for bringing Gavin and Ky with you today. I won’t mind helping you next year if I can.”

The Valley Senior Center will be closed for the Christmas/new year’s holiday season. They will reopen Thursday, Jan. 2.