Mayors in south Fulton are helping to make sure that hospital patients are included in the holiday season’s festivities.

Palmetto Mayor J. Clark Boddie and Union City Mayor Vince Williams will head out on Dec. 5 to deliver gifts contributed by donors to Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta.

There, Boddie, Williams and other mayors will join celebrants in a parade followed by holiday entertainment.

Similar caravans will take the state’s top elected officials to Georgia’s four other regional mental health facilities in a 59-year tradition spearheaded by the Georgia Municipal Association.

“GMA began the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade in 1959 at the request of Betty Vandiver, wife of then-Governor Ernest Vandiver,” Williams said of the late former first lady of Georgia.

Without her initiative, Williams said, many of the hospitals’ clients would not receive a gift for the holidays.

He said the Christmas spirit demonstrated by cities and their citizens during the motorcade gift collection and distribution period extends beyond the holiday season.

“Certainly, Union City is thrilled to participate,” Williams said. “It’s all about giving back.”

Boddie has participated for more than 20 years, both as a mayor and event chair.

He said he is thankful for its supporters.

“I believe Christmas is truly the time for giving,” Boddie said. “This is the opportunity to make a difference, if only once a year, in the lives of those who can’t help themselves.”

Donations of gifts and checks made out to the hospital may be dropped off during business hours at Palmetto City Hall, 509 Toombs St., or Union City’s city hall, 5047 Union St., by Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.

According to the association website, any gifts not handed out at Christmas are used for client birthdays or given to newly arrived clients, who may need basic items.

“In this way, cities help the hospitals celebrate special occasions year-round and help the hospitals meet the needs of their clients,” the website stated.

Items should be new and unwrapped.

The motorcade wish list includes men’s and women’s pants, sweaters, long-sleeve polo shirts and raincoats in sizes from medium to 4XL.

Personal care items, pens, stationery, postage stamps, puzzles, playing cards and crossword puzzle books are also welcome.

Information: Palmetto 770-463-3377, Union City 770-964-2288

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