The 11th day of July is Cheer Up the Lonely Day. What a wonderful idea! There are so many people who have no one, seniors, widows and widowers, people who simply have no one. This is the perfect time to make an effort to brighten up someone's day. This day aims to spread the awareness of the damaging effects that loneliness can cause, and it asks for people to share some of their time to help bring some happiness to those who are lonely.

How can you help? It's simple. If you know of someone who could benefit from having a little company, pay them a visit, give them a call or share a meal with them. Let them know that you enjoy spending time with them. Another idea would be to spend some time in a nursing home or veteran's home by volunteering. Sit with them, listen to their amazing stories and make them feel appreciated.

Don't just let this be a once a year thing. Develop relationships with these people and spend as much time as you can with them. Loneliness can affect mental health, and that can affect physical health. Help improve someone's life, mind and body, and make a new friend today. You can put a smile on someone's face, make their day and in the process, you'll gain as well. Who knows? You may even save someone's life.

Progress continues with the Buc-ee’s development. The preconstruction team with the City of Leeds will begin reviewing Buc-ee’s application this week. The ceremonial ground-breaking took place just days ago. The company is in the architectural design phase with making changes to the plans after the opening of their first Alabama location. Dirt should begin moving sometime in the fall. Construction will take 11-12 months so the store should open fall or winter 2020.

The City of Leeds presented checks to the Leeds Youth Sports program at the council meeting on Monday night in support of the players on their road to the Dizzy Dean World Series. The players were recognized publicly. Mayor David Miller presented a check for $2500 to Ross Nelson on behalf of the 12 and Under Allstars and a check for $2500 to Heath Drake on behalf of the 10 and Under Allstars.

Grand River Drive-In grand opening was a smashing success and exceeded expectations. Over 3,000 attended the event that included a double feature movie, mini-golf, plenty of activities for the family and kids plus a fantastic fireworks finale’. The Snack Shack should open early-mid August and restaurants should open this fall.

Moody Area Chamber of Commerce will host their monthly chamber luncheon at 11:30 a.m. today, July 11 at Moody City Hall. Guest speaker will be St. Clair County District Attorney Lyle Harmon. Lunch is $12 for members with reservation and $15 for non-members and no reservation. RSVP to Andrea Machen at 205-640-6262.

The Leeds Fire & Rescue will host a special event this Saturday, July 13 at Leeds Fire Station #1 on Park Drive. Activities and fun will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a blessing of the new fire truck along with other recognition at 11:30 a.m. The blessing is a tradition that the Leeds Fire Department holds each time they receive a new piece of equipment.

The Moody Civic Center will host Thunder in the Park on Saturday, July 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Moody City Park. Activities will include live entertainment, food trucks, bouncy houses and amazing fireworks so plan to bring your family for a wonderful evening of fun.

Leeds City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 15 at Leeds Civic Center meeting room.

Moody Lions Club will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 15 at White’s Chapel.

Moody Kiwanis Club is scheduled to meet at Noon on Tuesday, July 16 at Moody City Hall.

Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce Corporate Ambassadors will meet at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 17 at Leeds First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Lunch is $10 and RSVP to Sandra McGuire at 205-699-5001.

Breakfast for the Brave will be served at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 18 at the Leeds River Campus of Eden Westside Baptist Church. If you are a policeman, fireman, EMT or other first responder in the greater Leeds Area, please come by for a free breakfast and fellowship. For more information, please visit www.EdenWestside.org.

Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce will host their monthly luncheon at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 18 at Leeds First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Guest speaker will be Keith Bechly. Lunch is $12 with RSVP or $15 without a reservation. Please RSVP to Sandra McGuire at 205-699-5001.

Leeds Arts Council will present “Esther,” a fresh and exciting musical based on the story of an orphaned Jewish girl who becomes Queen of Persia, with performances beginning Thursday, July 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. For show dates and times, please visit their Facebook page. To reserve tickets, please call 205-699-1892.

The 2019 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 19 and end at 12 midnight on Sunday, July 21.

Leeds First United Methodist Church will host VBS July 21-25. Sunday night will be family night from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and dinner will be served. Monday through Wednesday will be hosted from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. (no dinner). This event is for four-year-old through rising 5th graders. Call 205-699-8575 for information.

Eden Westside Baptist Church will host Vacation Bible School July 22-26 from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at their Leeds River Campus for 4-year-old through 8th grade. The VBS theme is The Incredible Race where kids will explore God’s love for the nations as they travel around the world, uncover fun clues, attempt fascinating challenges and discover how the events that happened before, during and after the tower of Babel have impacted the human race today. Register your child online now at www.edenwestside.org.

The Leeds Redevelopment Authority is reviving the John Henry Celebration this year on Saturday, September 21 and plans are well underway for an exciting festival. The advertising and promotional campaign will launch soon. If you would like to be listed as a sponsor on the mail outs, posters and other media, please send your contribution now. Gold sponsorships will be for those contributing $500 or more, Silver sponsors will be $250-499 and Bronze sponsors will be $100-249. Please make checks payable to Leeds Redevelopment Authority and mail to the City of Leeds, c/o Toushi Arbitelle at 1400 9th Street, Leeds, AL 35094.

Thought for the week: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ~C.S. Lewis

I truly appreciate each of you who read my column and I really love sharing news so please send your Leeds and Moody news to me at leedsmoodynews@gmail.com.

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