Lewiston Elementary fourth-grader Chelsey Wilson displays some of the items that the Evans school sells, including notebooks, vanity plates, T-shirts and calendar magnets. The school will sell the items until Dec. 17.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
With less than three weeks left until Christmas, the real test is finding the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list. For those wanting to give gifts with a Columbia County connection, there are plenty of choices.
Once again this year, The News-Times has put together a list of such gifts with a distinct Columbia County flair:
Wear it proudly
• Lewiston Elementary School is ready to outfit all of its little Lions with T-shirts with the school's Lion mascot. Most Columbia County schools have T-shirts and sweatshirts with school logos and are available from the school, parent organizations or booster clubs. Call the school for details. The last day of shopping is Dec. 17 - the final day of school before the holiday break.
• For those who like to express their school spirit by wearing it, Hometown Sports features local high schools on letter jackets for $145; athletic bags for $23; shirts and windbreakers, beginning at $30; and other items. The store, at 4115 Columbia Road in Martinez, is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• For fans of Columbia County high school sports, Wal-Mart offers Evans, Greenbrier, Harlem and Lakeside sweatshirts for $17.93, sweatpants for $14.93 and ball caps for $9.88.
• Sunrise Grill in the West Town Shopping Center offers gift ideas embellished with the local eatery's sunglasses-wearing grinning sun to brighten anyone's day. Mugs are $5; T-shirts are $12.50; sweatshirts are $20; polo shirts are $23; and caps are $15. The grill also offers coffee mugs with the restaurant's logo on one side, and caricatures of WGAC radio personalities Mary Liz Nolan and Harley Drew drawn by Augusta Chronicle cartoonist Rick McKee for $8.
• Outfit the golfer on your list with hats and shirts from local golf courses. Hats cost $10 and shirts cost $20 at Three Oaks Golf Course in Harlem (556-1400); hats range from $11 to $20 at Jones Creek Golf Club, and shirts range from $22 to $130 (860-6657); West Lake Country Club offers hats for $17 and shirts from $45 to $90 (863-4642).
Read all about it ...
• For those who want to learn more about Columbia County's history, there is To Seek a Newer World: A History of Columbia County, Georgia, by Dr. Gerald J. Smith. The book costs $25 and is available from any member of the Columbia County Historical Society, at Kay's Pharmacy in Harlem or Strictly Country in Evans. It also is available by calling Bill Blackard at 541-2356. Mr. Blackard illustrated the front cover of the paperback book.
• Brush up on your church history with A History of the Kiokee Baptist Church in Georgia, Georgia's First Continuing Baptist Church, by Waldo P. Harris and James Mosteller. The history of Georgia's oldest Baptist congregation is available at the church's office in Appling for $30, or $35 if mailed. Make checks payable to Kiokee Baptist Church, P.O. Box 430, Appling, GA 30802. Call 541-1086.
• Explore issues of diversity and social interaction with Martinez poet Lucinda Clark's first book, View from the Middle of the Road, published in July by Xlibris. The 63-page paperback contains 57 free-verse poems and is available online at www. phoenixrisingarts.com.
• For those who need to keep informed, an annual subscription to The Columbia County News-Times is available for $38. Call 868-1222.
... And then cook it
• For help with holiday recipes, Stevens Creek Elementary School is offering a hardback cookbook called A Spoonful of Excellence. The cookbook features 400 recipes submitted by Stevens Creek staff members, families and students. It is available for $10 from the school office.
• In honor of Harlem Baptist Church's 130th anniversary this year, the congregation complied recipes into a cookbook - 130 Years and Still Cooking! The cookbook is $10 and is available from the church or Sunrise Grill in West Town Shopping Center. Call 556-6439.
• Your table could be decked with holiday dishes with Karin Calloway's Quick Cooking II: A Second Serving. The cookbook is a compilation of recipes from the Columbia County resident's weekly column in The Augusta Chronicle. It is available at The Columbia County News-Times' office for $16.95.
Join the local crowd
• For the history buff on your list, consider a membership to the Columbia County Historical Society at $10 a year or $100 for a family lifetime membership. Call Bill Blackard at 541-2356.
• Book lovers and others who want to see the love of reading passed on to future generations can get a membership to the Friends of the Columbia County Libraries. Memberships range from a $10 individual to a $500 "Best Friend." Membership supports the county's libraries. As a bonus, Friends members receive a 10 percent discount at Borders Books Music & Cafe. Visit www.ecgrl. public.lib.ga.us and follow the links.
• From Friends of the Libraries to man's best friend, a gift donation to the Columbia County Humane Society is especially needed this year as the organization is attempting to raise money for a dog park, low-cost spay/neuter clinic and shelter in Appling. For more information, call 860-0751.
• Any artist or art connoisseur should enjoy a membership to Columbia County Arts Inc., an organization that supports arts in the community. Members receive an Arts Talk newsletter, invitations to special membership events and performances and a 10 percent discount to performances and exhibits by Columbia County arts groups, including Stage III, the Columbia County Choral Society and the Augusta Dance Theater. The group also offers artists the opportunity to network. Membership levels start at $25. Call Beverly Smith at 228-1666 or visit www. columbiacountyarts.org.
• Memorialize a Lakeside High School student by ordering a memory brick, which will be used to help repave the school's outdoor walkways. Two sizes are available: a 4-by-8-inch brick costs $48 and can be engraved with up to three lines with 14 characters per line; an 8-by-8-inch brick costs $68 and can be engraved with up to five lines. Order at Lakeside High's front office. For more information, call 863-0027.
No place like home
• Decorate for the holidays, commemorate local history and help the disabled at the same time with the gift of a limited-edition Easter Seals Christmas ornament featuring Harlem's famous native son, Oliver Hardy. The 24-karat gold-over-brass ornament costs $15 and is available at the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem and at the Easter Seals office, 1500 Wrightsboro Road in Augusta. Other commemorative ornaments of Augusta landmarks also are available. For information call 667-969.
• Keep people on your shopping list warm this holiday season with an afghan featuring scenes from Columbia County from Strictly Country at 4313 Washington Road in Evans. The afghans cost $69.95. Reach the store at 868-1348.
• Get a little extra rest after the holidays on a Serta mattress manufactured at the company's factory in Grovetown. A full Serta gallery is available at Renaissance Fine Furnishings, located in West Town Shopping Center. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Prices range from $399 to $2,500. Call 650-2777.
Looking for a special gift with a Columbia County twist? We have a selection of gift ideas, from books to food to vehicles, in our annual Hometown Gifts section. Included this year is the CD Great Big Stars, recorded by the children at Brookwood Elementary School.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
• The pupils of Brookwood Elementary School will put anyone in the holiday mood with their compact disc Great Big Stars. The CD includes 15 traditional holiday songs and an additional 15 musical tracks for sing-alongs. The CD features everyone at Brookwood from pre-K and special education pupils to teachers and staff. The $10 CD is available in the school office, Center Stage Music in West Town Shopping Center and Family Christian Bookstore in the Augusta Exchange Shopping Center on Robert C. Daniel Parkway.
• Bring gospel into the home with Evans resident Glenda Howard's first CD I'm Committed. Howard, a singer, songwriter and producer who works as a clerk in the Evans post office, is known as the singing postal lady. Her CD features eight songs she wrote about real-life issues. To purchase a copy of her CD, call Howard at 869-9354 or e-mail her at GHFresh@aol.com.
• Music from independent Christian artist Stephanie Staples also is available. Breathe on Me, the freshman self-produced CD from the Evans native, was released in 2003 and a pre-release of her second album, Beautiful, became available in November. The full album is expected to be released in early 2005. Both CDs are available by e-mailing Staples at info@stephanie staples.com.
• A Club Car golf car will help a lucky recipient around the course or the yard. The cars, manufactured in Evans, are available from Transportation Solutions of Augusta, 692 Commerce Court, Evans. Prices range from $950 to $5,000. The store is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• A little help with lawn chores might be exactly what homeowners on your list need. Some models of the famed John Deere tractors and lawn mowers are made in the company's Grovetown plant. Starting at $1,499, John Deere vehicles are available from Augusta Turf and Tractor, 2804 Wylds Road in Augusta. Call 737-9191.
• To dress up that new vehicle, check out the Columbia County license tags with the county's new logo. They are available from the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce office at 4424 Evans to Locks Road in Evans and at The Columbia County News-Times' office for $5. Proceeds from sale of the tags go to Columbia County Arts Inc. and toward opening ceremonies for the county's new library and performing arts center.
Celebrate visual arts
Angie Readd-McSpadden (left) and Jan Bryant show off some of the atrwork by local artists that is available at Carpenter's Art Gallery on Davis Road.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
• Columbia County artist Lynell Widener is known for her paintings of streetscapes and notable landmarks such as the old courthouse in Appling, downtown Harlem and Appling and local churches. Call Widener at 863-2914. Black-and-white and color prints are available. Some of her original paintings not for sale can be viewed at Georgia Bank and Trust at 4109 Columbia Road in Martinez and in many Columbia County government buildings.
• Carpenter's Art Gallery at 138 Davis Road in Martinez can frame artwork or special memorabilia beginning at $30 or sell a piece of original art from one of eight local artists, most of whom are Columbia County residents. Prices vary. For more information, call owner Jan Bryant at 860-8054.
• For the movie buff on your list, The Laurel and Hardy Museum of Harlem sells VHS movies, mouse pads, T-shirts, DVDs, coffee mugs, Laurel and Hardy books, baseball caps, key chains and other stocking stuffers. Items range from $3 to $20, and shipping is available. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m.); Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Call 556-0401.
Tasteful, tasty gifts
• For your king of the grill, put a bottle of locally made JB's Grilling Sauce under the tree. Created by Appling native John Boswell, the sauce is bottled in several varieties and available for $2.99 at Kroger in Evans.
• Not in the mood to bake? Call the L'il Dutch Bakery in West Town Shopping Center. The bakery specializes in breads, cakes, pies and casseroles. Their bread offerings include whole wheat, white, honey wheat, rye, lemon,
cinnamon, cinnamon raisin, banana nut, poppy seed and sourdough for $2.99 to $3.29. The shop's cake offerings, which range from $9.59 to $20.99, include caramel, chocolate, coconut, red velvet, Italian cream, hummingbird, sour cream pound and German chocolate. Individual cookies, cupcakes and brownie and lemon bars also are available. Pies, which cost $7.99 to $8.99, include coconut cream, pecan, apple, chocolate, pumpkin, peanut butter, blueberry, peach and shoe fly. The bakery offers handmade casseroles, vegetables and side dishes, including chicken pot pie, broccoli and rice, chicken enchiladas, macaroni and cheese and sweet potatoes for $6.99 to $15.25. The bakery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 228-5336.
• For those who don't have time to cook, home-cooked entrees, side dishes and desserts are available for pickup weekdays at Good To Go, 3937 Washington Road in Martinez. Complete meals begin at $6.25 for one up to $51 for a meal for a family of six. Desserts including banana pudding, chocolate cheese pie and disappearing pie are sold by the slice or entire pie. Store hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Call 854-9400.
Darwin Morris holds two tins of Tracy-Luckey pecans for sale at Kay's Pharmacy in Harlem. The confections are made in a factory across the street from Kay's.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
• For the nutty recipient on your gift list, head to Kay's Pharmacy in Harlem where the store carries Tracy-Luckey pecans, which are processed across the street from Kay's at the Tracy-Luckey factory. A 1-pound bag is $9.95; an 8-ounce bag is $5.25. Flavors include praline, roasted and salted, plain baking halves and pieces, chocolate covered and angel honey. Kay's also offers gift tins: a 64-ounce four-flavor tin is $32.95; a medium four-flavor 24-ounce tin is $17.95; and a one-variety tin is $9.95. A 5-pound box of baking halves and pieces is $32.95. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Call 556-6231.
• Abbi's Coffee Mill and Roastery, 408 Furys Ferry Road, offers a theme gift pack of three pounds of the coffee of your choice for $29. The local company, which roasts its own coffee beans, offers three decaffeinated, 16 blends, 13 single-origin (country of origin) coffees and 14 flavors of fresh roasted coffee available for $9.95 per pound. Call 651-9111.
• R Gabriel's, a coffee house at 3740 Washington Road in Martinez, offers custom-made gift baskets with choices of more than 20 varieties of fresh roasted coffee. Prices vary on baskets. The roasted coffee also is sold by the pound for $7 to $15. A variety of sizes and shapes of mugs with the coffeehouse logo are available for $7 to $12. Call 210-4144.
• To wash it all down, buy your friends a few bottles of Springtime water, bottled by Southern Beverage in Appling with water drawn out of the deep aquifer right under Columbia County. Available in local grocery stores.
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