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Proclamations: ‘Ring the Bell’ on Christmas Eve

Whether it’s a jingle bell, a hand bell, a bicycle bell or even a cow bell, Jannah Sorrell is hoping they all will be ringing at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve this year.

And she’s got some support from across Polk County.

The Cedartown resident brought the idea to the city governments of Cedartown, Rockmart and Aragon earlier this month and all three have made separate proclamations proclaiming Dec. 24 — this Thursday — as Ring the Bell Day in each city.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Sorrell said. “I thought it would be something neat to all do something together from the comfort of our own homes. I live in town, so I thought if I could go out on Christmas Eve and hear all these bells it would be something special. I never imagined it would blow up and turn into what it has.”

The proclamations state that residents should go outside on Christmas Eve and ring a bell for two minutes starting at 6 p.m. The goal of the event, Sorrell explained, is to spread Christmas spirit and promote unity throughout the community.

Cedartown’s proclamation states in part that 2020 has been a challenging and unpredictable year that has changed the way we live and interact. Ringing a bell announces the coming or arrival of an event, activity or occasion and the sound of ringing bells is a long standing, cherished tradition and an important part of celebrating Christmas.

“Like I said, it is really to spread the Christmas spirit throughout the community, but I’ve told our children it’s also what is going to help Santa fly his sleigh that night,” Sorrell said.

Sorrell said she got the idea while scrolling through Christmas traditions online. She came across a video of bells being rung throughout a town in the United Kingdom on Christmas Eve and shared it to a Polk County Facebook group.

“I thought it would be something that people could do to celebrate the holiday spirit, especially for those of us who are not able to hold normal family gatherings,” Sorrell said. “And it just exploded.”

Rockmart City Councilman Marty Robinson asked Sorrell to speak to the board about her idea and receive a proclamation. She spoke at the council meeting on Dec. 8, where Rockmart mayor Sherman Ross presented the proclamation, which challenged all other local governments and communities to join them.

The Cedartown City Commission did its proclamation at its December meeting on Dec. 14, and Aragon followed at its city council meeting last Thursday.

“We have our own little towns, but we are all Polk County,” Sorrell said.

Sorrell said she knows of some churches who have bells will be joining in, and singing Christmas carols is encouraged as well. Sorrell and some of her family will be at Moores Soda Fountain on Main Street in Cedartown to celebrate the occasion.

“I would like to thank everyone who has reached out and wants to participate,” Sorrell said. “I think this will be a great event and I’m really excited to hear this all over town.”

Former Cedartown football coach Doc Ayers dies

Howard Edmonds “Doc” Ayers, who became synonymous with Cedartown athletics and lifting up local youth, passed away Saturday morning, Dec. 19, according to a family post on Facebook.

He was 98.

Ayers, who grew up in Toccoa, became the head football coach at Cedartown High School in 1952.

In 12 seasons, Ayers led the Bulldogs to two region championships, seven sub-region championships and Cedartown’s first, and only, state championship in 1963.

His record of 91 wins and 40 losses is still the best in program history.

Ayers’ grandson, Trey Ayers, posted the news of his grandfather’s passing on Facebook Saturday morning.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts today that I share Howard Edwards Ayers (Doc) went peacefully into heaven this morning,” the post reads. “He was truly a one of a kind man who will dearly be missed.”

When Vince Dooley took the head coaching job at Georgia in 1964, Doc Ayers was the first assistant coach he hired.

Ayers coached the UGA freshman team to a three-year 28-12 record. It remains the best record in Georgia freshman team football history. He remained on the Georgia staff for 17 years.

Ayers held Cedartown close to his heart, helping with charities and staying busy with the annual Ayers-Beck Celebrity Golf Tournament, which he started with former Cedartown standout and Georgia Tech All-American Ray Beck in 1991.

The tournament, held at Cherokee Golf and Country Club, and has raised several thousand dollars for both community organizations and college scholarships.

“Doc taught many of us how to be tough, do things the right way, and believe in ourselves,” his grandson’s post said. “He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, great uncle, friend, mentor, and to many more Coach.”

Ayers would occasionally still visit with the Cedartown football team and speak to them. The school’s football field was renamed Doc Ayers Field in his honor.

Funeral services were not yet available as of press time.

Standard Journal Area Calendar of Events from the Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 edition

Kresge United Methodist Church, 15 Booger Hollow Rd., is presenting a drive-thru live nativity on Dec. 22nd and Dec. 23rd from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night. The event will be canceled if it rains.

The Rockmart Cultural Arts Center is hosting the exhibit “Angels Among Us” at its gallery through Dec. 24, 2020 along with many local handmade items in its gift shop. Artwork is on display from 30 artists in a variety of mediums with angels, nurses, firemen. Church groups are welcome to schedule a tour with masks and social distancing. For more information call 770-684-2707 or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rcac.ga.

The Northwest Georgia Center for Independent Living holds a COVID-19 Peer Support call every Monday at 2 p.m. via the Zoom website and by phone. For the link and password, or if you need assistance, contact Christina Holtzclaw at 628-246-1825 or choltzclaw@nwgacil.org.

The NWGA Center for Independent Living is offering free Personal Protection CARE Kits to people with disabilities who live in Northwest Georgia. The kits include three face masks, two disposable thermometers, give pair of gloves and alcohol wipes. To request a kit and become a consumer, contact the center at 706-314-0008 or info@nwgacil.org.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.