I love this time of year! Everything is just about perfect...the weather, the beach, the pure peacefulness. Seaside has just hosted its 20th Seeing Red Wine Festival with great success thanks to our fabulous event director Adam Shiland! Now begins that slow lull of a couple of weeks in November before our friends, families, and guests start arriving for a big Thanksgiving week. But things around town are anything but slow!
Adam and his elves are getting ready for Turn On the Town which happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving along with the annual Christmas parade from Seagrove to Seaside. Soon the big Christmas tree will be erected on the stage of the Seaside Amphitheater, and the town will start stringing millions of white lights. Our beloved Post Office gets special attention with beautiful adornments by Nouveau Flowers.
As we approach the holidays, I always reflect back on the year to think about how thankful I am! We started the year with our neighbors in Haiti suffering the horrible earthquake. The crew at Seaside Associate Stores immediately reacted and we produced a "Hope for Haiti" Seaside t-shirt. A couple of weeks ago we presented Habitat for Humanity Haiti a check for over $5,000 to provide housing. I am very thankful that we perservered with this cause and met our donation goal.
We've also started our employee community service program this month. Every crew member will spend 4 hours a month volunteering at a local charity known as Caring and Sharing of South Walton. Our staff helps out in their thrift store in Santa Rosa Beach. I am thankful that I have an incredible staff that embraces the needs of our community.
The first of November also kicked off our 2nd annual Food Drive. We are offering anyone who brings in a bag of non-perishable food during the drive a 20% discount at any of our 5 stores. Last year during Black Friday, guests were cleaning out their cottages of uneaten Thanksgiving food to give to the cause. I am thankful that we have Seaside homeowners and guest that rally around the needs of our community.
This year our area endured a three month-long hurricane known as the BP Oil Spill. Many businesses were hit hard when so many of our summer bookings fell through. But the oil never reached our pristine beaches, and we survived the storm. I am thankful that many of you did not let the impending news keep you from coming to your favorite beach town, Seaside. I am also thankful that our staff gave it their all during a very tough time.
We are so grateful, that we want to give back even more this year. During the month of November and December we are donating a portion of our sales from our five stores and our website to Caring and Sharing so that they can provide for those who were not as fortunate this year.
Please join us in being thankful, not just at Thanksgiving, but daily. Remember to love your family, cherish your friends, respect your neighbors, pray for peace, and give when you can!
P.S. Bud is very thankful that he was rescued this fall, and he is looking forward to the Christmas parade!