The Town of Sumrall is gearing up for the Sumrall Angel Project to raise funds to refurbish the angel decorations that adorn Main Street during the holiday season to honor lost loved ones.
Officials are in the process of starting the project and will give families who have lost loved ones a first chance during the renovation. This will be followed by a community event in November open to all residents.
“It’s just to continue to support the memorial angels that we’ve used every holiday season for the past several years,” Mayor Joel Lofton said. “We started using them a few years ago, and many of the original angels, we do our best to keep them in as good a condition as possible.
“But when they go up, usually the week before Thanksgiving, and then stay up until Christmas, that’s a lot of time in the elements for these angels. If they’re out every year for four to six weeks, the garlands and lighting — and some of the things that keep them looking good — need fixing.
City officials are currently contacting families who have purchased angels in the past to honor a lost loved one. These families will have the first opportunity during the renovation at no cost.
“(These families have) already invested in these, and we certainly don’t want to ask them to do it again,” Lofton said. “Some of these angels are around $800, and that’s a substantial investment.
“So those who have already bought angels, we will provide the material that we have obtained from donors. If (families) want to make an additional donation, they are welcome to do so, but we are not going to ask. Families will have approximately three to four weeks (for refurbishment).
Although the authorities do their best to contact these families, this effort becomes a little more difficult over the years. As such, any family member is encouraged to contact Sumrall Town Hall at (601) 758-3591.
Any remaining angels will be available for adoption by five-person angel adoption teams for a $25 fee, with all proceeds going to the renovation. Each adoption team will receive up to five spaghetti dinners, courtesy of city officials.
Additional plates will be prepared and made available to anyone wishing to donate to the effort.
Each team will also receive the materials needed to refurbish their angel.
These teams will begin their renovations at 11 a.m. on November 13 at Lion’s Club Park in Sumrall, with the adoption and renovation of angels.
“It’s been a few years since the first angels arrived on site at Sumrall, and to be honest, we have a few angels whose families are now almost all gone,” Lofton said. “They just don’t have anyone to take care of this angel.
“So we will be reaching out to families and community organizations, churches, Sunday school groups, to give them the opportunity to adopt an Angel for Project Angel. Even those who are not adopting, if they wish to contribute to the project, we will have enough cooked meals so that if anyone wishes to come by for a meal, they can do so. We will not charge (a fixed price), but it will be on a donation basis.
Registration for Angel Adoption Teams will begin on October 13. For more information on registration, call Sumrall Town Hall.
“It’s just a way to bring the community together and support the memories of those we’ve lost,” Lofton said.