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From the editor’s desk

Published: Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 3:43 p.m. CDT

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving — one filled with memorable moments that involved family and friends. My Thanksgiving was great, and I feel fortunate to have either been with or spoken to/texted those I love. I am so thankful for so much ... including the great readers we have at the Bureau County Republican.

Now, the Christmas rush is upon us. While it will no doubt be filled with a multitude of chaotic and hectic moments, I hope you’ll carve out some time to reflect on the past year and the people and moments that made it special.

As you start (or in some cases complete) your holiday shopping, don’t forget to shop locally as often as possible. When you do, it becomes a win/win situation for everyone.

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The BCR is hosting its 2013 Illinois Valley Scenery Photo Contest. There’s still time to cast your vote for your favorite photo, which could appear in our 2014 calendar. The last day to vote is Wednesday. See the official rules online at www.bcrnews.com.

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A big congratulations to Mary Lou Sturtewagon of Sheffield who is the winner of our $100 basket of baking goodies, which she won for turning in a recipe for our upcoming “A Homemade Holiday” recipe section, which features your delicious homemade recipes in a special, keepsake edition. There are some great recipes included in this special section, which will be included in a future edition of the BCR. Watch for it!

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I’d like to personally invite you to attend this Saturday’s Festival 56 radio broadcast of “Miracle on 34th Street.” I’m excited to be one of the cast members of the show again. This annual event is an actual radio broadcast on WZOE, and several community members have been cast in the parts of this well-known Christmas classic. The show, which includes a live audience (hopefully you’ll be a part of that audience), is this Saturday at the Grace Performing Arts Center at 316 S. Main St., in Princeton. The show is at 10:30 a.m., but you’ll want to come early because at 9:30 a.m., Flour House Bakery will be serving coffee and baked goods in the lobby. The Bureau County Chorus will also entertain the audience with holiday classics.

This event is always a ton of fun. You’ll get a bang out of our antics, and you’ll surely enjoy the sound effects created by “Foley artists,” just like in the early days of radio. This is a great way to help you kick-off the holiday season. I hope you’ll stop by the box office and reserve your tickets today. I hope to see you there! Check out our story on Page 3.

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A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the fundraiser at Sullivan’s Foods this past Wednesday that was held to benefit the victims of the tornado in Washington, Ill. The event, sponsored by Sullivan’s Foods, ServiceMaster and the BCR, yielded a semi truck full of items that was delivered to the folks in Washington on Friday. A big thanks to everyone who helped fill the truck as well as the three business’ staffs who braved the cold weather to get the items on the truck. Your generosity is appreciated.

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Speaking of generosity, our area food pantries need your help. So do the organizations which host toy drives for our area children. Whatever you can spare will be appreciated. Considering today’s economy, there are many who could use a helping hand this season. Please add these folks to your holiday lists. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face when you lay your head on the pillow at night.

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I love checking out your Christmas decorations that you’ve put up at your homes. I know it takes a lot of time and energy, but it does put a smile on this old gal’s face. I love your Christmas spirit ... Have a great week, and remember: You are important to me and the BCR.

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