National Friendship Week is next week and what better thing to celebrate than friendship? Friends, real friends, are a blessing because they understand you like no one else can. They also stand by you no matter how bad or good things get. Do you have any friends that you’ve known for years and have close relationships with? Are they the type of friend that even if you don’t see each other often, when you do see each other, you can pick back up right where you left off with the friendship? This type of friend is truly a treasure to be valued. Normally, in a lifetime, you might only have one or two friends like this. Let's celebrate Friendship Week by reconnecting with those friends you may have lost touch with. If you've been busy, make an effort to have a coffee date with a friend you've been missing. If that doesn’t work, simply send them a heartfelt text. If your friends live far away, make that long-distance call, or catch up with Skype so the only investment is time. The best way to celebrate this particular week is to schedule some time with your friends, whether close or far away.

The Cities of Leeds and Moody had the opportunity to meet with members of the China Council for the promotion of International Trace out of Arlington, Virginia last week. This was the first visit to Alabama for several in this Chinese delegation and they were impressed with the experience. Mayor David Miller, Chamber Director Sandra McGuire, City Attorneys Scott Barnett and Johnny Brunson along with myself were the Leeds group to meet with this council. Mayor Joe Lee, Council Members Linda Crowe and Ellis Key along with Andrea Machen were the Moody group to meet with the council. Both cities had good meetings and look forward to future opportunities.

A free Student Writing Workshop is scheduled at Leeds First Baptist Church on Aug. 15 at 1 p.m. This event is hosted by Julie Ezelle Davis and Aimee Smith, Leeds Classical Conversations Community Director and Support Representative. This event is designed to boost your child's writing skills. The writing skills practiced can be used with any curriculum and you will leave the workshop with tools that may be used the entire school year. RSVP online at http://bit.ly/2GRZFM5. Childcare will be provided.

The Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce will host their monthly luncheon at 11:30 a.m., Aug. 15 at Leeds First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Guest speaker will be D’Undray Peterson with LiftFund and works in business education, counseling and technical assistance in the Delta region. Lunch will be catered by China Wok. Make your reservations by calling 205-699-5001 or email Sandra@LeedsAreaChamber.com.

The Doris Stanley Memorial Library will host their next performance of the Seasoned Performers at 1 p.m., Aug. 15 at Moody Civic Center. This performance is called “Trains” and includes a presentation of railroad history using songs, stories and railroad sounds. The Seasoned Performers are a group of adults who are part of the Red Mountain Theatre Company.

The Leeds Jane Culbreth Library will be hosting their Inspirational Book Club, Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room. This group meets on every third Thursday and this month the club will be discussing “When Calls the Heart” by Janette Oke. Also, scheduled for 6 p.m. is the After School Special: Musical Instruments, which will be held at Leeds Civic Center. Mark Seymour will return with his popular high-energy music show, “Be at Your Best!” A light dinner will be provided for attendees. This program is sponsored by the City of Leeds, Representative Dickie Drake and Whistle Stop Festival. There are many other events and programs hosted by the library. Visit their Facebook page often so you will not miss a single one.

On Sunday, Aug. 18, catch an installment of “Me and My Big Mouth” at Eden Westside Baptist Church. Brother Jacky Connell will continue to expound on how our words affect us and others in this 4-part series at both their Pell City and Leeds campuses. Preschool and children's activities are available.

Leeds Primary School will host the 1st and 2nd Graders Parent Night on Monday, Aug. 19 at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. They will also host Kindergarten Parent Night on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 6 p.m.

Leeds City Council Meeting will meet in the Leeds Civic Center Meeting Room on Monday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m.

Moody Lions Club is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19 at White’s Chapel.

Moody Kiwanis Club will meet at Noon on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at Moody City Hall.

The Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce Corporate Ambassadors will meet at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21 at Leeds First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Lunch is $10 and RSVP by calling 205-699-5001.

It’s time to register for Hold the Fort 5k Run/Walk scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21 in conjunction with Leeds Fall Festival & John Henry Celebration. This event will begin at Leeds Memorial Park to benefit Blanket Fort Hope. Blanket Fort Hope is a statewide non-profit organization that rescues children out of human sex-trafficking situations and provides resources to help them recover from this trauma. For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/2Z0E3n1.

Thought for the Week: “If we could spread love as quickly as we spread hate and negativity, what an amazing world we would live in.”

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