Archived Story

Uncle Nick’s brings Christmas to needy children in county

Published 11:56am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Uncle Nick’s Smokehouse is partnering with Oskar’s Café, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department and the Alexander City work release program to help provide Christmas to needy children this year.

“I’m so excited we’re coming together to do this,” said Tara Lowe, manager of Uncle Nick’s. “We wanted to do something to help children before Christmas. Our motto is please help St. Nick’s Christmas tree put a smile on child’s face.”

The St. Nick’s Christmas tree, located in the lobby of Uncle Nick’s Smokehouse, has tags with the Christmas wishes of children, identified by the Tallapoosa County Department of Human Resources as being in foster care, ongoing protective services, or active abuse or neglect investigations.

“I think some of them will have a slim Christmas,” said Autumn White, senior social work supervisor at the Tallapoosa County DHR. “This gives them a lot more than they otherwise would have.

White said the gifts will be delivered to parents so that they may be delivered Christmas morning.

“Our intent is for children to have Christmas like everyone else,” White said. “I don’t want us to get any recognition for it.”

Lowe said the wishes of these children are often very inexpensive and include basic things like Army men, coloring books and Play-Doh.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Lowe said. “Everybody who has come to get a tag hasn’t been able to take just one name.”

To raise money to purchase additional gifts, Uncle Nick’s will be holding a Battle of the Sexes fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Michael Carter will serve as men’s team captain and Kris Dobbs will be the captain for the women’s team. The men and women’s teams will serve as waiters and bartenders and compete to see who can earn the most tips. All proceeds will go towards purchasing additional gifts.

Lowe said the tags currently only list the wishes of children under the age of 7, but her goal is to be able to fulfill all the wishes of children on the DHR wish list.

“We’re hoping the proceeds will be enough that we can fulfill wishes all the way up to age 18,” Lowe said.

She said Uncle Nick’s had a fantastic response from the United Way fundraiser Battle of the Bartenders, and she hopes the Battle of the Sexes fundraiser will be as successful.

A Christmas tree open house will be held at Uncle Nick’s Thursday, Dec. 13 to thank people for their contributions and provide a final opportunity to drop off unwrapped toys.

The open house will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres provided by Uncle Nick’s and Oskar’s Café.

For more information or to request a tag, contact Tara Lowe at 256-307-1405.