Salvation Army plays Santa to needy

By Dave Gomez

DeKalb County will hold its 35th annual Salvation Army Toy Drive this Sunday.

The drive will be held at 2 p.m. in the DeKalb Ive Union Hall, 14th and State streets, and will continue as long as there is an audience.

The event was originally conceived by organizer Gary Mullis in 1970. This year’s show will feature musical performances by local groups and refreshments.

Mullis said he first held the event in the Cortland town hall because he enjoyed music and thought it would be a nice thing to do.

“I didn’t know I was going to be doing it all these years,” Mullis said.

This year’s show will open with the band Basically Bluegrass, Mullis said. Also expected to appear are local country, gospel and bluegrass singers such as Scott Rush, Jerry Davis and Earl Gilbert.

Mullis also will play the drums to well-known Christmas songs.

Admission to the show is a new toy of any price per family. The toys then will be distributed by the DeKalb Salvation Army to needy children in the county.

Mullis said people who have never been to the show should give it a try.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Mullis said. “Everyone will enjoy it, and it’s for a good cause.”

Musical newcomers are also encouraged to attend and play.

“All bands and singers are welcome to perform on the show,” Mullis said.

Musicians wanting to perform should arrive at 12:30 p.m. to set up time slots and equipment, said emcee Lavern Day.

For more information on the 35th Annual Salvation Army Toy Drive, contact Gary Mullis at 754-4142.