Posts tagged “christmas

Mayors face off Saturday in Salvation Army Ring Off

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The cities of Bryan and College Station seem to relish the opportunity to compete in just about anything — even Christmas.

But don’t worry, we aren’t competing to see who can attract the most business or tourists, at least not this time. Instead, how about a little friendly competition to help The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, toys, financial assistance, and counseling to those in need in the Brazos Valley?

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney and Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson will participate in the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas campaign by ringing bells and collecting donations at local Walmart stores on Saturday from noon-1 p.m. Mooney will be at the College Station Walmart, while Nelson will be at the Bryan Walmart on Briarcrest.

The Mayor Ring Off has been a holiday tradition for many years. The problem is that the Bryan mayor — regardless of who it is — always seems to raise the most cash.

It’s time the good folks in College Station came together to bring that winning streak to an end. With the proper spirit of Christmas, of course.

If you happen to stop by the College Station Walmart on Saturday, say hello to Mayor Mooney and drop your spare change into that famous red kettle. You’ll be helping a bunch of your fellow residents in the process, especially through the hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

You don’t have to wait until Saturday, either. You can donate online in advance at salvationarmybcs.org. Click “Mayor Ring Off” and be sure to choose Mayor Mooney. Encourage your family and friends to donate, too!

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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Choose to Shop College Station this holiday season

By Aubrey Nettles, Economic Development Manager

An annual rite of the holiday season is the hustle and bustle of busy shoppers searching stores for the perfect gift. The shops are festively decorated, and smiles abound as the joy of the season overwhelms our senses. 

Holiday shopping may look different this year, but those ideal gifts remain in abundance. In fact, with many businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, shopping in College Station is more vital than ever. 

You have friends, family members, and neighbors who own or operate — or are employed by — these businesses. Our entire community needs them to stay afloat.

Local shopping also generates sales taxes, a portion of which goes directly back to your community to fund essential government services such as the police, fire, and parks departments. More than 30% of the City of College Station’s annual revenue comes from sales tax revenue. When local sales are strong, we rely less on other revenue sources, which benefits us all.

Holiday shopping has traditionally been the most critical time of year for countless businesses since it generates their annual sales peak. This year, many are just trying to survive until the pandemic passes, and normal life resumes.

You can help by choosing to shop in College Station.

Local businesses have implemented extensive precautions to ensure the safety of their customers and employees. Some retailers have started Black Friday-type savings events early to avoid a rush of shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. Others allow you to order online and pick-up at the store, with many offering a curbside option.

Some even have contactless home delivery options for College Station and Bryan residents. 

Local stores have installed ample safety measures such as plexiglass dividers at check out and multiple sanitizing stations. All are enforcing six-foot physical spacing and mandatory face coverings. 

 While the obligatory face coverings may conceal the broad smiles we typically share at Christmastime, they can’t hide the sparkle in shoppers’ eyes and the cheerful nature of the season.

 


About the Blogger

Aubrey Nettles is in her second year as the city’s Economic Development Manager. She also served four years as the special projects coordinator in the City Manager’s Office. Before coming to College Station, she was the executive assistant to the Fort Bend County Commission and was a management analyst for Harris County. A native of Smithville, Aubrey earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Houston in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M in 2010.  


 

 


Jingle Bell Fun Run celebrates 30th year on Dec. 8

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

The Jingle Bell Fun Run is a fun run in its truest sense. The two-mile race isn’t timed and is intended to be a fun way to kick off the annual B-CS Christmas Parade.

Sunday, Dec. 8 marks the 30th anniversary of the Jingle Bell Fun Run and is an ideal opportunity to mark “competing in a fun run” off your bucket list. The event starts at 2:15 p.m., followed by the parade at 3 p.m.

The run starts at the corner of University Drive and South College Avenue and ends at the corner of Texas and Elm Avenue. We’ll have a shuttle waiting for you at the end of the route and, knowing how much dogs enjoy a brisk jaunt, they’re welcome, too.

To commemorate the run’s anniversary, we’ll feature more swag to complement your jingle bells and t-shirt so you can run (or walk) down Texas Avenue in style. The entry fee is only $15 and includes a shirt if you register by Nov. 17. The fee is $20 during the Nov. 18-24 late registration period, but you aren’t guaranteed a shirt.

Packet pick-up is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 4 and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road. For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

Join us as we celebrate 30 years of the fabulous Jingle Bell Fun Run. See you at the finish line!

 


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 12 years and is in his second year as the athletics and tourism manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Texas A&M in 2008.


 

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Holiday Safety:  Watch out for pets in your merry festivities

This post is the fifth in a series about keeping your family and possessions safe this holiday season.

By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer

A lot of people consider their pets to be valued members of their families. It’s especially important to treat them that way during the holidays.

Many of the fun and beautiful things we enjoy about Christmas can create hazards for your pets. The College Station Police Department’s Animal Control Division offers these basic tips to keep your beloved pet safe and sound amid all the joy and fun:

Holiday hazards

Hang breakables, tinsel, and other tempting decorations well out of paw’s reach. Tinsel, ribbon, and ornaments are especially dangerous to pets if chewed or swallowed, and electrical cords are even worse. Gnawing pets often try to chew the cords, which could lead to severe injuries or even death. Make sure your light strand, loose wires, and extension cords are out of reach.

It’s also wise to place your decorative holiday plants and candles clear of your pet’s reach. Some seasonal plants – such as mistletoe, holly berries, and poinsettias – are poisonous, and pets and candles just don’t mix. You should also keep your pets away from holiday treats, especially chocolate. Theobromine and caffeine, ingredients found in chocolate, are toxins and can be fatal to some animals.

Christmas trees

A Christmas tree should stand on a flat, broad base. You may also consider anchoring the tree with fishing line tied to a ceiling or wall hook since curious cats often see trees as climbing posts. Needles from both live and artificial trees are indigestible and can cause illness. Don’t tempt your pet with edible ornaments, either.

If you have a live tree, be aware that water from the tree base can cause mouth sores, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Be sure to cover the bottom tightly with skirting to restrict access.

Provide a haven

If you plan to entertain family or friends, provide a haven where your pets can retreat when they get overly excited or could possibly escape. Encourage your guest to leave your pets alone when in their sanctuary.

When you travel

If you are going away and your pet is staying home, make arrangements for their care, check that they have proper identification, and make sure their enclosures are secure. Contact a reputable pet sitter or find a high-quality kennel that provides a safe, sanitary environment and has a qualified, caring staff.

If your pet travels with you, identify accommodations that allow pets by contacting the tourism agency at your destination. If traveling by car, provide frequent rest and water stops and bring proof of vaccinations. Always have current identification on your pet’s collar with an alternate phone number.

The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.

 


About the Blogger

Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

 

Photo Copyright: dikushin / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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Holiday Safety: Don’t let would-be grinches spoil your travels 

This post is the fourth in a series about keeping your family and possessions safe this holiday season.

By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer

When preparing for holiday travel, some folks make detailed to-do lists so they won’t leave anything important behind.

Gifts? Check.

Christmas cookies? Check.

Ugly holiday sweater? Check.

If you plan to celebrate the season away from home, you might consider adding a few other items to that checklist to keep your property safe. Don’t let the would-be grinches lurking in the shadows spoil your Christmas.

Good locks, simple precautions, neighborly alertness, and common sense can prevent most property crimes.

Is anybody there?

Make sure your home has a lived-in look since most burglars want to avoid confrontation. Put a hold on your mail and newspaper deliveries and hide your empty garbage container. An alternative is to ask a trusted neighbor to handle these items for you.

You can also provide that neighbor with a key to your home and have them park their vehicle in your driveway. You can offer to do the same the next time they leave town.

Lights and alarm systems are great investments, and you may want to add a timer to turn on the lights and a radio or TV in the evening. Some modern security systems and timers can be controlled and monitored remotely through your smartphone. Leave your shades and blinds in their normal positions.

If you’re a renter, check with your landlord or management company about their security measures and what precautions you should take in case freezing weather occurs.

Secure your home and valuables

Lock all your windows, doors and outside gates. You might even consider double-locking your windows with inexpensive key locks found at hardware stores. Don’t hide your keys in a mailbox, under a doormat or planter, or anywhere outside.

Double check your garage doors before you leave, and unplug or disarm automatic garage door openers, if possible. If you’re leaving a vehicle in the driveway, don’t leave a garage door opener inside.

Take smaller valuables such as laptop computers or expensive jewelry with you or store them in a safe deposit box. It’s also a good idea to record the serial numbers of your valuables. You may even want to engrave your driver’s license number on the back of your electronics and computers.

Be discrete

Finally, it’s never wise to advertise your travel plans to strangers, especially on Facebook or other social media.

Let’s work together to keep College Station a safe place to live, work and play by taking away opportunities for crime. The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.


About the Blogger

Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

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Holiday Safety: Bad guys see vehicles as easy targets

This is the third post in a series about keeping your family and possessions safe this holiday season.

By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer

As much as we all enjoy the Christmas holidays, we don’t want thieves to revel in the season at our expense. Too often, vehicles filled with shiny new gifts can be an easy mark for these sad souls.

Here are some basic precautions you can take while driving to lessen the chances a crook will spoil your holiday fun:

Be Cautious in Parking Areas.

Shop during the day whenever possible and avoid shopping alone. Park in a well-lit and well-traveled area – and remember where you parked! Lock your vehicle and put up your windows. When you return to your vehicle, have your keys in hand so you won’t be fumbling with or looking for your keys. Don’t be overburdened with packages, either — it makes you look vulnerable.

When you return to your vehicle, scan the interior to be sure no one is hiding inside. When storing items in your vehicle, place them out of sight, preferably in a locked trunk, and don’t leave your purse, wallet, or cell phone in plain view.

Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con artists may try to distract you while slyly stealing your money or belongings. Since criminals often choose victims who appear to be the easiest targets, try to display confidence and purpose. You should also trust your instincts. If you have a feeling something is wrong or suspicious, take immediate action to reduce your risk.

Make Sure You Aren’t Followed.

When you leave a parking area, check to see if anyone is following you. Pay close attention to your surroundings and lock your car doors.

A recent trend shows that some criminals monitor stores with high-value products, such as electronics stores. After you make a purchase and leave the parking lot, they follow you to your next stop. When you go inside, they try to break into your vehicle to steal your stuff.

Be Careful with Cash, Credit Cards

If you go to an automatic teller machine for cash, make sure it is well lit and in a safe location, and be aware of other people. Take only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or unnecessary items such as jewelry. Put any cash in your front pocket.

Don’t Resist or Chase a Thief

Finally, don’t resist if someone tries to take any of your belongings, and don’t attempt to chase the robber. They may have a weapon or accomplices waiting nearby. Instead, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.

Let’s work together to keep College Station a safe place to live, work and play by taking away opportunities for crime. The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.


About the Blogger

Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

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