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Crafts, food, children's activities abound at Harvest Jubilee

The Harvest Jubilee features a car show, among other activities.

The Harvest Jubilee features a car show, among other activities.

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Smyrna Presbyterian Church volunteers, from left, Paul George and Gary Mooneyham serve lunch at the 2010 Harvest Jubilee. At top, the Harvest Jubilee features a car show, among other activities.

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Smyrna Presbyterian Church volunteers, from left, Paul George and Gary Mooneyham serve up some lunch at the 2010 Harvest Jubilee.

Linda George and her fellow volunteers were already busy this week rushing around town getting ready for an event that has brought fun and hope to the community now for 18 years.

The Harvest Jubilee is sponsored each year by Smyrna Presbyterian Church and offers a dizzying array of events, food, a huge yard sale and other activities, all to benefit a home mission project for local citizens.

This year's Harvest Jubilee will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine on the grounds of Smyrna Presbyterian Church at 2920 Highway 212 in Conyers. Admission is free and the community is encouraged to come join the fun for an important cause.

The Harvest Jubilee benefits the Tina George Carter Medical Benevolence Fund (TGCMBF) set up 19 years ago to assist Tina George Carter with medical expenses during her fight with breast and liver cancer.

If You Go

What: Harvest Jubilee

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 17

Where: Smyrna Presbyterian Church,2920 Highway 212 in Conyers

Cost: Admission is free.

Her church, Smyrna Presbyterian, got together to help the young woman and her husband by setting up the special fund, but 18 years ago at the age of 27, Carter lost her battle with the disease.

Prior to her death, she told her aunt, Linda George, and others that if any money was left over in the fund the church had set up for her, she hoped it would be used to help other people faced with medical needs.

As a way to realize Carter's wish and to keep the fund growing, the church held its first Harvest Jubilee 18 years ago. The fund is designed to help people faced with mounting bills due to a serious medical condition.

"It is absolutely unbelievable, but thanks to (everyone's) love, generosity and hard work, a total of $15,451.60 from Jubilee was place into this fund in 2010," George said, adding that since the death of her niece, many Smyrna families have received assistance from the fund. The fund is managed by the active Mission/Benevolence elders of the church.

Harvest Jubilee involves Smyrna Presbyterian volunteers of all ages as they work together for a day filled with everything from a yard sale, car show, and craft sale to a Red Cross blood drive, book sale and dunking booth.

George says the car show is always popular and will have even more classic and antique cars this year.

Harvest Jubilee is especially fun for children, George said, and she calls them the "heartbeat of the day." There will be a moon walk, train ride, hayride, games, tattoos, balloons, hair styling and color, face and nail painting as well as other activities geared toward kids. There will also be a children's bike-a-thon and a dunking booth.

Food is a big "drawing card" for the day, George said, with barbecue pork and chicken, backyard style hamburgers, cheeseburgers and hotdogs for sale. The Vietnamese congregation will have Vietnamese egg rolls and fried rice. Early festival goers can enjoy hot biscuits and coffee.

There will also be snow cones, frozen lemonade, funnel cakes and homemade ice cream.

The yard sale promises to be huge as people in the community have gone through their closets, attics, basements, garages, utility buildings, barns and storage buildings to gather treasures.

George anticipates a long list of items to be available including exercise equipment, tools, electronics, luggage, purses, cookware, toys, games, baby items and much more. She has also put out a call for donations of larger items, such as furniture to be donated.

Anyone who has items to donate is asked to bring them to the Smyrna campground as soon as possible and those with larger items to donate are asked to bring them to the church the Friday before Jubilee or by 8 a.m. on Sept. 17.

Call the church for more details at 770-483-8962.

Part of the Harvest Jubilee includes a Holiday House which will offer Christmas and other holiday decorations for sale. Other special features of the day include a clothes closet, bake sale, plant sale and a large selection of arts and crafts.

Local crafters have been meeting each week creating items for the event. The Quilt Corner is also a busy spot as Smyrna quilters have been working all year preparing quilts to sell at the Jubilee.

In addition, a selection of books, DVDs and CDs will also be available. Returning this year will be the Hippie Chic Boutique featuring a selection of hip, vintage items, including clothing, antiques, linens, collector items, hats, purses, shoes and jewelry. There will also be a new selection of jewelry made by a local crafter for sale this year.

George said monetary donations are always welcome and may be brought to Harvest Jubilee with checks earmarked TGCMBF. Checks can also be mailed to the church at the address listed above.

For more information, call the church or e-mail George at george923561@bellsouth.net.

Beth Sexton is a freelance writer based in Snellville, Ga. If you have a story idea, contact Karen Rohr, features editor, at karen.rohr@rockdalecitizen.com.