Two local groups who participated in the De Queen Tour of Lights earlier this month, made the holidays brighter for those in need this season as they opted to donate prize money earned in the float contest.
The De Queen Tour of Lights was a reverse style parade held Saturday, Dec. 5 at Herman Dierks Park in place of the annual event traditionally set for the square downtown. Local groups were asked to set up a display that would be evaluated by judges and the community was encouraged to view the floats from the safety their vehicles to avoid the spread of covid-19. The top three winners of each category receive prize money from the local chamber of commerce in the amount of $100 for 1st place, $75 for 2nd and $50 for 3rd.
The folks of Kindred at Home - Home Health and Community Care Services were contacted by The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce this week about receiving their winnings after their grinch-themed set-up earned them a first place spot in the commercial category. Home Health Specialist Debra Morse had other plans for the money as she requested their $100 prize be donated to a local charity of the chamber’s choice instead.
An additional parade participant, who asked to remain anonymous, requested that their $75 prize be donated to a local group in need as well. The two organizations who chose to give back to the De Queen community are not affiliated with each other and did not discuss the idea of donating in advance, proving two random acts of kindness were carried out by separate groups who unknowingly had one common goal of helping those in need.
As many area “Shop with a Cop” and “Angel Tree” programs have already been completed for the year, the chamber board of directors selected CASA of The Ouachita Region to become the recipient of these funds, which will now be used to help children during the holidays. CASA is an acronym for “Court Appointed Special Advocates” and their mission is to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children within the court system. Cynthia Martin and Espe Mosqueda graciously accepted the donation on the organization’s behalf and reported that support like this is “always appreciated.”
The funds will go towards clothing, gifts and items for local children in the foster care system within Sevier, Polk and Montgomery Counties.
“As the busy holiday season continues and the cold winter months roll on, the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce would like to express thanks to the groups who have chosen to donate their prize money to help local kids this time of year,” chamber officials said.
CASA of The Ouachita Region is always in need of volunteers and those interested in supporting the group can call 479-243-9277. They can also be reached by email at email@example.com.