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MAYOR’S


                                      CORNER












            MAYOR BILL BARNETT

        Today is December 6th, and this is the time of year that I   would like to ride in the Christmas parade with Mayor Bill
        enjoy the most. Hanukkah, Christmas, some cool weather,    Barnett” be the winners. It was for 4th and 5th graders. He
        family time with the grandkids, and more Holiday events than  said yes and of course the staff and their creative minds made
        I could possibly attend, but I will try my best!           it special with the claim being: “The Grinch is kind”. I don’t
                                                                   think I could write a paper making the Grinch kind, but the
        As Mayor riding in parades has always been a favorite of mine.  two 5th grade winners that were announced today sure did!
        My two all-time favorite parades are the St. Patrick’s Day   At the risk from my editor firing me because I’m going to
        parade and our upcoming City of Naples Christmas parade    overshoot my word limit but what the heck, it’s the Holidays!!!
        which will take place next Tuesday evening December 11th.   I am going to share one of the winning papers and next month
        Many years ago, when my grandchildren were parade riding   the other. Amazing work! And, I don’t get paid so I probably
        age I had no problem finding willing riders. After all there   won’t get fired.
        aren’t a lot of kids out there and
        a few adults as well that wouldn’t                                                “The Grinch is Kind”
        jump at the chance to be a parade                                                 Most people think the Grinch
        rider. Well after they became too                                                 is unkind, but I got a different
        old to ride I figured out a way that   Today is December 6th, and                 thought on my mind. He started of
        would make money for a local           this is the time of year that I            malicious and rotten, but I think
        charity and make riding in the                                                    there is a spark of love in him that
        parades a memorable event. So, I        enjoy the most. Hanukkah,                 has not been forgotten. You may
        picked one of the many charities           Christmas, some cool                   think that the Grinch is very ugly
        we have in Naples that was having                                                 and mean, But I think there is more
        an event with a silent auction        weather, family time with the               to him that you have not seen. He’s
        and donated riding in any of the                                                  big and ugly and really smells bad,
        parades with me. It was for two       grandkids, and more Holiday                 But he saved Christmas so all of
        children preferably 3rd, 4th, or       events than I could possibly               Who-Ville is not sad. He realized
        5th graders, and I provided all                                                   Christmas does not come from a
        the candy for throwing, beads,         attend, but I will try my best!            shop, that is the day his heart was
        hats, and all other goodies that                                                  feeling on top. The Grinch returned
        go with parades. I’ll never forget                                                all the gifts and all the food, To a
        the first time I did that because                                                 pleasant surprise he was in a good
        it sold for $1500.00. The charity                                                 mood. He put time and effort to
        was thrilled, the parents that bought it were thrilled for their   make things right, So all of Who-ville would have a jolly
        kids, their kids were overjoyed, and I was happy and we all   Christmas night. That day he was honored with love and joy,
        had fun. As time went by I expanded my horizons and found   from every girl and every boy. On Christmas day when it was
        ways to make those parades beneficial for charities or kids   time for the feast, the Grinch was the one that cut the roast
        in our local schools. Last month I had the honor of being   beast. His heart isn’t as deep as a black hole, So maybe this
        Principal for a day at Lake Park Elementary School. It was an   year Santa won’t bring him coal. The Grinch is a very kind
        amazing experience and I had a new sense of appreciation for   person inside, he may not be the best hero but the Grinch
        our teachers and the school staff. I shadowed the Principal   really tried. Next time when your heart isn’t feeling true,
        that day, sat in on a staff meeting, visited classes and was   think, if the Grinch can do it so can you!
        exhausted when the school dismissal bell rang. I didn’t have
        any riders for the upcoming Christmas parade and asked     Happy New Year! I look forward to a great 2019  in our
        Principal Marker if he would help me find two riders by    City of Naples and I do respond to emails at
        having a writing contest with the best two entries of “Why I   mayorbill@naplesgov.com


     8                                                                                                       Life in Naples | January 2019
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